Throughout history, children often had to participate in the workforce, unlike today when children rarely do.
In 1810, it is estimated that approximately 2 million school-aged kids worked 50-70 hours a week!
It wasn't until 1938, when Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act that determined 16 years old the minimum age to work in the United States of America.
Lewis Hine was a teacher who quit his job to travel the country and document photos of children wasting their youth in factories, mines, and other hard jobs.
His photo essays were extremely effective and helped spread support and compassion for small children in the work force.
Here are a few of Lewis' photographs of a group of children working as shrimp pickers in Biloxi, Mississippi.