Skip to main content

Children Who Labor – film (1912)

Children Who Labor (1912)


Movie still from Children Who Labor (1912)
Still from Children Who Labor, a 1912 film

Children Who Labor was a collaboration between the Edison Company and the National Child Labor Committee, the nonprofit organization founded in 1904 and chartered by Congress to promote the rights of “children and youth as they relate to work and working.”

In this melodrama, the daughter of a well-to-do industrialist is separated from her mother on a train ride. She is taken in by a poor, loving, immigrant family. While living with this family, the child finds work at a textile mill which is eventually bought by her father the industrialist. The father unknowingly becomes his daughter’s employer.

Directed by Ashley Miller
Written by Ethel Browning
Starring Shirley Mason as Leonie Flugrath (Mabel Hanscomb); Robert Conness as R. Henry Hanscomb, her father the industrialist; Miriam Nesbitt as Louise Hanscomb, her mother; John Sturgeon as the unemployed father; Viola Dana as Viola Flugrath, his older daughter; and Mary Fuller
Produced by the Edison Company
Distributed by General Film Company
Release date February 23, 1912
Running time 13 m.

Learn more about this film from the National Film Preservation Foundation. A 35mm print of Children Who Labor is preserved at the Museum of Modern Art.

A portion of this movie was filmed in Paterson, New Jersey.