And like Addie, Hine seemed to recede into the mists of history. But his child labor images secured his reputation as a documentarian and as an artist. We return to the photograph of Addie again and again because Hine saw her not just as a symbol but as a "person" with a life beyond the mill. For that reason, the "anaemic little spinner" remains as firmly burned into our national memory as she was etched into the glass of Hine's negative almost a century ago.
Elizabeth Winthrop is the author of Counting on Grace, a novel based on the Lewis Hine photograph of Addie Card.