Early in the 20th century, families with children would migrate from the northern states for seasonal work in southern canneries. In the summer, they would return north to work in the fields. Here are a few photos of the young workers (all photos by Lewis Wickes Hine).
Above: 7-year-old Rosie shucks about 4 pots a day at Varn & Platt Canning in Bluffton, South Carolina. Click photos to enlarge (pop-up window opens on click).
Above and below: at the Maggioni Canning Company in Port Royal, South Carolina, children shucked oysters for 4 hours before a half day of school, returning for 3 more hours of work after shool.
Above: Julia tends to the baby today. She also shucks at the Alabama Canning Company (Bayou La Batre, Alabama).
Above: 8-year-old Annie from Baltimore is a shucker in the Dunbar Cannery, (Dunbar, Louisiana).
Josie (age 6), Bertha (age 6) and Sophie (age 10) shuck at the Maggioni Canning Company in Port Royal.
Above: Millie (age 7) with Mary John (age 8) work at the Alabama Canning Company. Mary said "I shucks six pots if I dont got the baby two pots if I got him."
10-year-old Frank shucks 4 pots a day at Lowden Canning in Bluffton, South Carolina.
Workers in Dunbar, Louisiana stand in front of a shell pile. They work from 3 AM until 5:00 PM.
Above and below: worker housing built atop a shell pile at Maggioni Canning in Port Royal, South Carolina.
More great photos by Lewis Wickes Hine: Empire State Bldg; Comanche, OK fingernail inspection; pin boys (1909-1911); S. Manchester, Connecticut Silk Mill (1924); Boot Blacks, NYC (1924); Cranberry pickers (1911); Newsboys near Brooklyn Bridge (1908); Kids working Night Shift (1909); working girl (1910);