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Children Who Labor (1912)

 -  Drama | Short  -  23 February 1912 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 79 users  
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The father of a working class family is having trouble finding a job, because the local textile mill is hiring only inexpensive child labor. Reluctantly, he allows his oldest daughter to ... See full summary »




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Title: Children Who Labor (1912)

Children Who Labor (1912) on IMDb 5.9/10

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Cast overview:
Robert Conness ...
William Hanscomb - the Mill Owner
Miriam Nesbitt ...
Louise Hanscomb
Mabel Hanscomb (as Leonie Flugrath)
John Sturgeon ...
The Immigrant Father
Mary Fuller ...
The Immigrant Mother
The Immigrant's Older Daughter
Edna May Weick ...
The Immigrant's Young Daughter
Bigelow Cooper ...
An Owner of a Mill
Robert Brower ...
A Friend of Mr. Hanscomb
Barry O'Moore ...
An Unskilled Laborer
Charles Ogle ...
The Warden of the Prison
William West ...
The Officer of the Child Labor Organization (uncredited)


The father of a working class family is having trouble finding a job, because the local textile mill is hiring only inexpensive child labor. Reluctantly, he allows his oldest daughter to work in the mill. Meanwhile, in New York, the wealthy businessman Hanscomb is being urged to speak out against child labor, but he declines to do so. Then, while Mrs. Hanscomb and her daughter are traveling, the young girl accidentally wanders away, gets lost, and is taken in by the working class family. To help them, she takes a job in the mill. While this is taking place, Hanscomb has initiated a search for the daughter even as he goes about building up his financial empire. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Short


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 February 1912 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(2004 National Film Preservation Foundation print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the 50 films in the 3-disk boxed DVD set called "More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931" (2004), compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 5 American film archives. This film has a running time of 13 minutes, an added piano music score, and is preserved by the Museum of Modern Art. See more »

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User Reviews

A Melodrama That Makes Its Point
21 April 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This melodrama was made for the specific purpose of dramatizing the need for reform in the child labor laws of its era, and it makes that point well. The plot is somewhat dependent on coincidence, but in a sense that goes with its implied point, namely that the child labor situation would be ignored unless something unexpected inspired those with sufficient influence to do something about it.

The story contrasts a working class family, reduced to depending on a still-young daughter for income in the local textile mill, with the family of a wealthy businessman who is insensitive to the problems of child labor. The story that ties them together works pretty well in making its points. The characters are believable, and the settings do a decent job for their era of establishing the atmosphere.

While the specific problem that the movie addresses may no longer be a significant concern in most places, the film is interesting in preserving the essence of a situation that, in its day, cried out for reform. Each generation has its own such needs, and some of the general lessons are still valid.

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