Hine was one of the first proponents of social documentary photography.
Hine documented the development of industrialization in United States
of America. Lewis Hine supported the introduction of industrialization
as he was a believer in the American Dream - 'work is the path to success'.
However his background as a sociology teacher showed him the pitfalls
of developing industry, and the problems that surrounded it. As Hine
two things I want to do. I want to show the things that had to be corrected.
I want to show the things that had to be appreciated."
Lewis Hine recognized
one of his problems of industrialization was child labour, and set out
to change this situation. Hine believed in a sociological approach in
dealing with this predicament. When photographing individuals he saw
them as representing a wider social group. He told one meeting that
his photographs would encourage people to "exert the force to right
Hine was employed as a staff photographer for the National Child Labour
Committee. Hine's contribution to the N.C.L.C. was vast. As well as
his photographs appearing in posters and publications, Hines also designed
the committee's exhibitions and brochures. Hine's photographs also illustrated
his own reports and were used by newspapers and magazines. Due to the
pressures of N.C.L.C., Congress agreed to pass legislation to protect
children in 1916.
the success of Lewis Hines work with the N.C.L.C., Hine went to Europe
to work for the Red Cross. He documented the living conditions of the
French and Belgian civilians during the First World War. After the Armistice
Hine went to the Balkans and in 1919 he published The Children's
Burden in the Balkans. In
1930-31 Hine recorded the construction of the Empire State Building
which was later published as a book, Men at Work (1932).