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Lewis W. Hine
Whistle blows noon Opelika Cotton Mill. Smallest girl in photograph is Velma Smith a tiny little spinner with a steady job all day.
[National Child Labor Committee (U.S.)]
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-nclc-02929 (color digital file from b&w original print) LC-USZ62-84578 (b&w film copy negative)
Whistle blows noon Opelika Cotton Mill. Smallest girl in photograph is Velma Smith a tiny little spinner with a steady job all day. I found her at home crying bitterly because her father refused to let her have any money out of the pay envelope she brought home. Mother said: "That haint no way to encourage children to work." Mother, father and several children work. Her mother admitted she worked here before 12 years old, and at Ella White Mill and one other city for about a year. Says they have no family record, but claims Velma is 12 now (which is doubtful). I saw her several times going and coming at 5:45 A.M. and noon.
Location: Opelika, Alabama