Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mid Week At Work: Tobacco; Child and Teenage Labor, August 2, 1917

Three boys, one of 13 years old and two of 14, picking shade-grown tobacco on Hackett farm, Buckland, Connecticut.

We don't think of Connecticut as "tobacco country" anymore, but it, as well as Maryland, once were.

Indeed, they still are, to those in the know.  Connecticut Shade Tobacco is used for premium cigar wrappers.  It is now, and it was also in 1917.

 Teenage labor on "second picking"

It's a quite crop.  Those who grow it, and its little changed in how its grown in harvested over the past two centuries, tend to keep it quite.  Tobacco growing isn't the "down on the farm" type of crop that engenders a romantic vision.

Twelve year old girl "passing" leaves to stringers, tobacco-shed, Buckland, Connecticut 

Of course, we also don't associate child labor, or teenage labor, with tobacco either. But that was also once common. 

Child and teenage labor, Tobacco shed, Vernon, Connecticut.

Child and teenage tobacco workers.  $1.25 per day.  Connecticut.

Child labor, and some teenage.  Ages 9 to 15.  Connecticut.

Growing the crop hasn't changed much over the past century.  But harvesting it through child labor has.

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