1920's: Roaring or Boring?

By: Ryanne H. and Matthew W.

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The above news article comments on a child labor law passed in 1921 in Pennsylvania. The paper demonstrates the increase in child labor laws that occurred in the 1920's preventing much of the practices that were previously accepted in the working environment. This artifact fit well with this exhibit as it shows the progress American society made in the 1920's surrounding child labor, making the era "roaring."
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Above is a photograph taken by Lewis Hine depicting three National Child Labor Comitee Exhibition Panels. Influenced by Jacob Riis's pictures of slum conditions on New York's Lower East Side, Hine documented the working conditions of children in mills, factories, and fields across the country in the early 20th century. In a time where the evils of child labor were finally being understood, Hine's photographs helped bring attention to the issue. This artifact was chosen for the exhibit to demonstrate how art, such as photography, was used in the effort to decrease child labor in the 1920's. This clearly helped make the time period roaring.
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An poster produced by the National Child Labor Committee promotes involvement with the committee. This poster shows the growth of the NCLC in the 1920's and the increase of awareness for the cause, making it the perfect artifact for this showcase. The NCLC certainly helped make the time period roaring.
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Another NCLC poster demonstrates the committee's campaign that children ought to have a childhood before becoming an adult citizen. The poster expresses the true nature of the fight the NCLC sought to produce and shows the increase of awareness surrounding child labor in the 1920's. The passionate, illustrative posters the NCLC created helped make the era roaring.
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The picture above shows the harsh reality of child labor during the early 1920s. Photos like this one helped create a public awareness of the horrors of child labor. These children were confined in factories with poor ventilation with thousands of other children. The workplace was unsanitary and the machinery was very dangerous, but child labor gave a greater profit. This picture illustrates the that change was needed, which sparked an increase in public awareness. Because of those reasons, this picture helped make the 1920s roaring.
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This artifact was the first major law against child labor, the Keating Owen Act of 1916, based on Senator Albert J. Beveridge’s proposal from 1906. Senator Beveridge proposed a paper trying to stop child labor in 1906, but his idea was rejected. Although it was rejected, it was an important step in the reformation of child labor. It would ultimately be considered a roaring artifact because it paved the way to important changes in child labor put forth by FDR.
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This artifact is a photo taken by Lewis Hine, that became known as the "breaker boys." It depicts three boys from coal mines in Pitston, Pennsylvania. This photo showed the boys in terrible condition and was utilized by the National Child Labor Committee's campaign for increased rights. The National Child Labor Committee’s work to end child labor was combined with efforts to provide free, compulsory education for all children, and culminated in the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, which set federal standards for child labor. The National Child Labor Committee's work in child labor reformation is roaring because it brought public awareness to children like the "breaker boys."

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This source was a key step in improving the Child Labor amendment. First proposed in 1924, the amendment was ratified by Arizona’s legislature in January 1925, making Arizona the second of twenty-eight states to do so. I can’t find the precise date of Arizona’s ratification, but AZ Secretary of State James Kerby certified the legislature’s ratification on January 29. This source is the certification of Derby and Arizona. The support of state governments led to further support in the battle for child labor rights, and therefore, classifies this document as "roaring."