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Children Who Labor

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In comments to today’s earlier post on the Child Labor Amendment, Woodrowfan reminded me of the wonderful 1912 anti-child labor film “Children Who Labor.” I’ll let him explain the content:

Check out the short “Children who Labor” (1912) which shows a poor immigrant family trying to survive. But Dad can’t get a job because the factory is only hiring child workers. The elder daughter has to go to work, where she is sexually harassed by a foreman, who also tries to force the girl to try chewing tobacco.

When the daughter of the heartless factory owner is separated form her mother, she is taken in by the immigrant family. She goes to work in (irony alert) her own father’s factory, where she passes out from overwork. The factory owner’s wife, hearing a little girl collapsed at work, shows up with a basket of food she finds, to her shock, it’s her own missing little girl!

Immigrant Dad refuses a cash reward to finding the little girl, but the factory owner is convinced to hire only adult men. The end scene shows the kids going off to school while their dads enter the factory, happy to earn a living.

Unfortunately, the version on YouTube lacks a soundtrack. Just put on a jazz or classical album in the background and watch it with that. But it is well worth your time. His own daughter ending up in his factory. That will teach the evil capitalist!

Also, this is a reminder that Shakezula is hosting the last reading group for Out of Sight on June 8 at 2 pm eastern. We are discussing the last two chapters, including the conclusion, which is the most important part of the book. Pepper me with questions about what a just trade policy would look like!

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