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        Children's Lives at the Turn of the 20th Century

        The dawn of the twentieth century was a time of great change in the United States, and many of those changes can be seen in the lives of the nation’s children—how they worked, played, learned, and made sense of the world. This set of primary resources from the Library of Congress includes photos of children's daily lives, school conditions, working conditions, and play items. This set also includes a Teacher's Guide with historical context and teaching suggestions.

        http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/childrens-lives/

        Muddy Jim and Other Rhymes

        Emile Berliner is the author of this children's picture book, Muddy Jim and Other Rhymes: 12 Illustrated Health Jingles for Children, published in 1919.

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        Schools in Washington DC

        This photograph depicts a classroom in Washington, D.C. in 1899.

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        The Road to Washington

        This print shows a c. 1884 game board for a game "The Road to Washington" with "Washington" at the top and "Grand Central Depot" near the bottom. Three routes lead to Washington; five routes to the Grand Central Depot. When a player lands on a city, except Dover, he moves his game piece to a designated city; for example, "Baltimore change to Chicago.

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        Tenement House and Children

        Many children lived in terrible poverty, while others were part of a growing middle class. This photo from 1910 depicts a tenement house, possibly 36 Laight Street in New York, with children in front.

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        Sylvester Rawding Family and Sod House

        This photograph, taken in Sargent, NE in 1886, shows (from left to right) Emma (Leadbetter) Rawding, Sylvester W. Rawding, daughter Bessie, and sons Philip, William, and Harry, sitting and standing in front of their sod house, with a mule team on the right, and a cow on the hillside that forms part of the roof.

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        Salvin Nocito

        Salvin Nocito, 5 years old, carries 2 pecks of cranberries for long distances to the "bushel-man", in this 1910 photograph from Browns Mill, NJ.

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        Just Kids

        This is a photo of a c. 1904 postcard created by the Detroit Publishing Company showing children walking down a dirt road.

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        Girls' Playground on Harriet Island, Minnesota

        Parks and playgrounds were built in unprecedented numbers around the turn of the century, partly as a result of the Progressive and Conservation movements. This photograph was taken c. 1905.

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        A Day's Work for Felix and Estelle Humphrey

        Rural children often worked on their family’s farms, helping with the endless tasks which were completed using human and animal power. This photograph of Felix Humphrey was taken in May 1916, near Elizabethtown, KY.

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        Public School in Washington DC

        This photograph, taken in 1899, depicts children watching their teacher write on the blackboard in a Washington, D.C. school

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        Mother and Children Making Clothes

        High up on the top floor of a rickety tenement, 214 Elizabeth Street, New York, in 1912, this mother and her two children (boy: 10 years old; girl: 12 years old), lived in a tiny room and made money finishing garments. The garments were packed under the bed and on top of it and around the room. It is said they made between $1 to $2 a week and the boy earned additional money selling newspapers.

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        Children With Bicycles and Tricycles

        This photograph from 1919 features children in typical early 20th century dress with their bicycles and tricycles.

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        Annual Baby Parade

        This silent film shows the Baby Parade at Asbury Park, New Jersey, in 1904. It includes scenes of boys (dressed as soldiers and sailors) and girls (dressed in Oriental costume) marching in groups, mothers pushing decorated perambulators, and horse-drawn floats.

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        The Children's Object Book

        View a storybook for children in the early 20th century to learn common objects that occurred in everyday life, such as items in the house, kitchen, train station, etc.

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        Breaker Boys, Woodward Coal Mines: Kingston, Pennsylvania

        Many children in cities and towns worked — in mines, in factories, and on the streets (selling newspapers and food, or shining shoes) to help contribute to their family's income. It wasn't until 1938 that the federal government successfully regulated the minimum age of employment and hours of work for children. This photograph was taken c. 1900.

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        Teacher's Guide: Children's Lives at the Turn of the 20th Century

        Teacher's Guide with historical context and teaching suggestions.

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