Don't they look mischievous! This photograph shows a group of young girls that work in a cotton mill. The picture was taken in about 1909 in Georgia. Work in a cotton mill would have amounted to little more than a sweatshop at this time. It is amazing how several of these girls manage a smile for the camera.
During the Civil War, the largest employer in Lenoir City, TN was a cotton mill, owned by Dr. Benjamin Ballard Lenoir (whose father founded the town). When the Union Army got to town, they burned the Lenoir’s general store because the family supported the Confederacy. But before they got to the cotton mill, Dr. Lenoir gave the secret Masonic handshake to several of the Union officers – so they didn’t burn it down.
"Child in Carolina Cotton Mill." 1908 American photographer & sociologist, Lewis Hine, recorded children's working lives on behalf of the National Child Labor Committee. ~ A Design History of Childhood | Brain Pickings
Lewis Hine - A little spinner in Globe Cotton Mill. Augusta, Ga. The overseer admitted she was regularly employed. Location: Augusta, Georgia. https://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/nclc/item/ncl2004001390/PP/