Working in the Breaker

Breaker boys became a symbol of child labor in the coal fields for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) when it investigated the anthracite coal region:

"the NCLC found a cultural icon-the breaker boy. The breaker boys, who endured some of the most grueling conditions among child workers anywhere, came to symbolize all that was wrong with child labor. If the chimney sweep is the symbol of British child labor it was the breaker boy in America." HUGH D. HINDMAN, CHILD LABOR: AN AMERICAN HISTORY 90 (2002).

Photo from "In the Shadow of the Coal Breaker" by Owen R. Lovejoy, Acting Secretary, National Child Labor Committee.