Cora Watts, Spinner in the Mill Watts family photo
Kathy Pinna

Cora Watts, Spinner in the Mill

Cora Watts, a young spinner in the Aragon Mill. She's dressed nicely but I bet it was hard work. In 1892, the Democratic Party adopted a platform plank based on union recommendations to ban factory employment for children under 15. But this was only a position, not a law. In 1904, an aggressivepush began to reform national child labor laws. In 1916 (4 years after this photo was taken), the first federal child labor law prohibited the movement of goods across state lines if minimum age laws were violated (the law was in effect only until 1918).

It wasn't until 1938 that for the first time, minimum ages of employment and hours of work for children were regulated by federal law. Do you think that this had something to do with the Great Depression and the need for jobs for adults?

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940, photographer
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Photo taken at Aragon Mill Rock Hill, South Carolina USA on
Cora Watts, Spinner in the Mill

Cora Watts

Born: unknown
Died: unknown
Also in this photo: Cora Watts