Skip to main content

Florence Crittenton Homes: A History

The purposes of this home were to reform “fallen women” and preach salvation and hope to and provide shelter for unmarried, pregnant women and girls. With the success of the Bleeker Street mission, Crittenton became a traveling evangelist, preaching in particular to prostitutes and the unwed mothers. As a result of his efforts, “Crittenton Homes” that provided rescue services and shelter to unwed mothers in an atmosphere permeated by Christian evangelism were established throughout the United States beginning in 1892.Continue Reading »

Exploiting the Child (1934)

An editorial in The Nation, May, 1934. The Child Labor amendment discussed in this entry was proposed in 1924 following rulings by the Supreme Court in 1918 and 1922 that federal laws regulating and taxing goods produced by employees under the ages of 14 and 16 were unconstitutional. By the mid-1930’s the majority of state governments had ratified the amendment; however, according to Article V of the Constitution, three quarters of the states are required to ratify it before it is adopted. The issue became mute when in 1938 the Fair Labor Standards Act, allowing federal regulation of child labor, was enacted. In 1941, the Supreme Court approved the law.Continue Reading »

Children Wanted

Written by Beulah Amidon, appearing in Survey Graphic, 1937. “Nineteen state legislatures are meeting this year. Twenty-four states have ratified the child labor amendment; if twelve more act—and act favorably—the amendment will be a part of the Constitution, conferring upon Congress the power, which the Supreme Court has ruled it now lacks, to safeguard young workers.”Continue Reading »

Children on Strike

Article written by Paul Comly French, appearing in The Nation, 1933. “Shocking conditions in the sweatshops of Pennsylvania, where 200,000 men, women, and children work long hours for starvation wages, became front-page news through the efforts of the “baby strikers” of the Lehigh Valley.”Continue Reading »

Pea-Pickers’ Child (1935)

Written by Lucretia Penny, appearing in Survey Graphic, 1935. “The death notice in the county paper was not more than two inches in depth but it had, nevertheless, its modest headline: PEA-PICKERS CHILD DIES. Already there had been three deaths in the pea-pickers’ camp: a Mexican had been murdered, stabbed; a child had died of burns; a baby had died of what his young mother referred to as “a awful fever in his little stomach.” And now the shallow headlines spoke of Zetilla Kane, the seventh child and only daughter of Joe and Jennie Bell Kane.”Continue Reading »

Children Hurt at Work: 1932

Article written by Gertrude Folks Zimand, Director Research and Publicity, National Child Labor Committee, appearing in The Survey. “One of the many tragic aspects of the industrial exploitation of children is the army of boys and girls who, at the outset of their industrial careers, fall victims to the machine. Each year, in the sixteen states which take the trouble to find out what is happening to their young workers, no less than a thousand children under eighteen years are permanently disabled and another hundred are killed.”Continue Reading »

Shift in Child Labor (1933)

By Beatrice McConnell, Director Bureau of Women and Children, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. “Child labor cannot be ignored as a vital factor in the present economic crisis. Children are leaving school and going to work at a time when millions of adults are jobless and many of these children are acting as the sole support of their families because their fathers and older brothers and sisters are unemployed.”Continue Reading »

Edwards, Thyra J. (1897 – 1953)

Thyra J. Edwards (1897 – 1953) – Social Worker, Child Welfare Advocate, Labor OrganizerContinue Reading »

Crushing Out Our Children’s Lives (1931)

Written by Helen Keller, an Article in Home Magazine, 1931. “I WONDER how many of you have Miss Abbott’s annual report of the Children’s Bureau. The part relating to child labor is distressing. Miss Abbott tells us that there was a steady increase in child labor during the three years preceding the present period of depression and unemployment. According to reports from sixty cities in thirty-three states, 220,000 full-time working certificates were issued to children between fourteen and eighteen years of age in 1929, as against 150,000 in 1928.”Continue Reading »

Will the Codes Abolish Child Labor? (1933)

Written by Gertrude Folks Zimand, Director Research and Publicity, National Child Labor Committee. “WHEN President Roosevelt on July 9 signed the Code of Fair Competition for the Cotton-Textile Industry, which bars from employment children under 16 years, he virtually removed from that industry several thousand children who will be replaced by adults. Had this action been taken in the spring of 1930, before unemployment became so acute, the number displaced would have been over 10,000.”Continue Reading »

View graphic version