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Sadie Pfeifer, a Cotton Mill Spinner, Lancaster, South Carolina

A work made of gelatin silver print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




Lewis Wickes Hine
American, 1874–1940

About this artwork

Photography’s ability to record people, places, and things has often made it the prized medium for documenting society, from prison mug shots to medical studies to the horrors of child labor. Working for the National Child Labor Committee, Hine used photography as a means to an end, photographing children at work, from lone newsboys to factories full of young laborers. The resulting images were the visual spark to debates about reforming child labor laws. In this, his most famous photograph, a small girl stands before a cotton loom that seems to stretch the length of the room, dwarfing her in scale.


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Photography and Media


Lewis Wickes Hine


Sadie Pfeifer, a Cotton Mill Spinner, Lancaster, South Carolina


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1908


Gelatin silver print


Unmarked recto; stamped and inscribed verso, across left half, sideways, in blue ink and graphite: "[illegible/cut off/inscribed in graphite] / LEWIS W. HINES / INTERPRETIVE PHOTOGRAPHY / HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK [stamped in blue] / Spinner in cotton mill / N. Carolina 1908 [inscribed in graphite]"; inscribed verso, upper right, sideways, in graphite: "7 / 7"


Image/paper: 11.6 × 15.3 cm (4 5/8 × 6 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Acquired through exchange with George Eastman House

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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