Virtual Exhibit — Child Labor Reform

Child Labor Reform Panels Lewis Hine Overview Child Labor Reform Rev. Alexander J. McKelway President Taft siigning child labor bill Flossie Britt A Spinner Saturday Ball Game Indiana Glass works Springstein Mill workers young doffers

Age of Reform: Child Labor Exhibit
Rev. Alexander Jeffrey McKelway
& Photographer Lewis Hine

Presbyterian Heritage Center
2018 - 2020 Exhibition Displayed


At the turn of the 20th Century, social reformers launched numerous initiatives. Among the issues being debated was the regulation of child labor. The state and federal governments were the targets of campaigns about child labor, which were active from the late 1890s through the 1920s.

The National Child Labor Committee was formed in 1904 to spearhead a sophisticated campaign of publicity — photos, tracts, articles, and more!

Age of Reform: Child Labor

It was called the Progressive Era. Around 1900 - 1920s, journalists, clergy, politicians and social reformers attacked many problems affecting the public. These included working conditions, housing, voting rights, etc.

Among the concerns about workers were wages, safety, workers compensation, hours worked and others. One specific issue was the lack of regulation about child labor. This is the story about the formation of the National Child Labor Committee, formed by two clergymen. It was instrumental on changing laws and regulations on the state and federal levels.

You can navigate through the Index at left, or click on an area of the exhibit panels in the upper left picture to learn more.