When he was a young sociology teacher in New York City, he took his students to Ellis Island where he photographed the immigrants. From 1908 he is the photographer of the National Child Labor Committee which denounces child abuses. He hides his camera during his visits of the production lines to avoid reprisals and forfeitures by the foremen who are upset by his interference in their daily practice.
Hine discloses his images through lectures and through publications in magazines. A photo must be perfect for hitting the reader.
In 1920 Lewis Hine observes the interface between the adult man and the machine. A first series of photos is published in December 1921 in The Survey Graphic magazine. He also makes 18 x 12 cm silver prints of these images.
Among them the photo of the worker busy with a steam pump is his masterpiece. The head, torso and arms fit into the perfect circle of the piece of equipment, certainly under the influence of Leonardo's circle of the ideal proportions of man.
An 18 x 12 print was sold for $ 270K including premium by Sotheby's on September 30, 2014 over a lower estimate of $ 70K. Another one is also estimated $ 70K for sale by Swann in New York on February 15, lot 60.
SOLD for $ 65K before fees