1998 32¢ Child Labor Reform
Celebrate the Century – 1910s
Issue Date: February 3, 1998
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Lithographed
This stamp is part of the second sheet in the Celebrate the Century series. It shows major events that took place in America from 1910 to 1919.
The stamp image was from a photo by Lewis Hine. As the staff photographer for the National Child Labor Commission, he traveled throughout the U.S. collecting evidence of underage laborers. The stamp pictures a girl working in a cotton mill in Vermont. Though she told Hine she was 12 years old, other children working there said she was 10.
Social reformers like Hine and other members of the commission pushed for regulations on children working in factories. Images like Hine’s photographs helped raise awareness of the poor conditions the children were subject to. Congress passed federal child labor laws in 1916 and 1918, but the Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional. Protective laws were finally enacted during the Great Depression.