Breaker Boys
FES Title: Single Col – Breaker Boys
Alternate Titles:
Date: 11/10/1902
Size: 0″H x 0″W
Medium: char-on-pap_br
Type: illustration
Published: Nichols, Francis H. “Children of the Coal Shadows.” McClure’s Magazine, February 1903: 438.
caption: In the Breaker
Inscription: ll: F E S
Comments: index; edit
Commentary: “During the height of the ‘muckraking era’ (1895-1915), the public’s eagerness to read about corruption and injustice stimulated and supported investigative journalism. McClure’s Magazine, which continued as a leader in the progressive reform movement, maintained a reputation for publishing only articles based on painstaking journalism. The magazine commissioned two journalists, Ray Stannard Baker and Francis H. Nichols, to visit the coal counties of Pennsylvania, to study conditions, and to make reports on their findings.”
“‘Children of the Coal Shadows,’ written by Nichols, was one of the articles to come out of the project and was published in the February 1903 issue. The poignant story of youngsters deprived of their childhood, their happiness, and their health was illustrated by Frank E. Schoonover (1877-1972). The murky darkness of the depths of the mine, illuminated only by torchlight, was convincingly evoked by the initial drawing.” (American Realism and the industrial Age 1980)
In the quest for information about the coal mines and lives of the miners, Schoonover traveled to Scranton and lived with one of the coal mine workers from October 15-27, 1903. He visited the mines and environs, taking extensive photographs and executing several drawings.
See related photograph by Schoonover of an anthracite mine in Scranton, Pennsylvania. (#145p)
Provenance: Not known