Breaker Boys Digital History ID 2739

Breaker Boys

Credit: Library of Congress
Media type: photograph
Museum Number: LC-D401-11590 DLC
Annotation: Many immigrants went to work as coal miners after they came to America. Working in the mines proved to be very difficult and many immigrants soon left the mines for other work. Many immigrants went to the cities to work in the steel industry. Since child labor laws were not in force in 1900, many children of the miners went to work in the mines as breaker boys, often earning less than one dollar a day.

This photograph shows some of the breaker boys, whose primary job was to separate out the slate and refuse as coal came down chutes.
Year: 1900

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