Child Labor on New Jersey Farms, 1940
Courtesy, Special Collections/University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries.
The Consumers’ League of New Jersey investigated child labor in New Jersey as early as 1905. In 1925, the Consumers’ League conducted a major study of migrant children, mainly from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, who Worked in the cranberry bogs and truck farms of southern New Jersey. They found that these children, shown in the photographs, were missing and consequently falling behind in school, and often worked in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. In 1927, the League sponsored a bill to prohibit the employment of children while school was in session. Years of effort by the Consumers’ League and other groups including the League of Women Voters, eventually led to the passage of the comprehensive Child Labor Law of 1940, which restricted hours, prohibited night work and raised the age limit for young workers.