Addie Laird

Addie Laird (Card) photo by Lewis Hine
Addie Laird (Card) photo by Lewis Hine

Time Period

1910-1940

Notable Facts

Mistakenly identified as Addie Laird for decades, Addie Card became a symbol of child labor reform when, in 1910, Louis Hine took a picture of her working in a mill in North Pownal at the age of 12. The photo, and thus Addie, became world famous.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

1898

Date of Death

1993

Primary Residence

Pownal

Historical Significance

As a young girl, Addie Card was mistakenly identified as Addie Laird when noted photographer and labor reformer Louis Hine took her photo in 1910. Months of intense research by author Elizabeth Winthrop ("Counting On Grace")revealed Addie's real name and history.

Addie Card grew up in Pownal, Vermont, working as a child in the cotton mill. When Louis Hine captured her image working in the mill, she became a symbol of the movement to end child labor in the U.S. The photo was commemorated as a U.S. Postal Service stamp in 1998.

Addie Card's life improved little after she reached adulthood. At age 17, she married Edward Hatch, another spinner from the mill; they had one child, but the child was given to his sister to raise. In 1925, they divorced, and she soon married Ernest Lavigne and adopted a little girl. Lavigne lost a battle with alcoholism and died in the late 1960's.

Addie Card's gravestone is in St. Agnes

Cemetery in Cohoes, New York. It reads "Adeline M. Lavigne, 'Gramma Pat.'" Addie Card lived a very hard life, never escaping from poverty; nor did she learn that her photo served as a symbol of child labor reform.

The photo can be found at the Bennington Museum in Bennington, Vermont.

Organizations or Movements

  • National Child Labor Reform Movement

Occupations

  • Textile worker

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Article and interview with Elizabeth Winthrop, author of "Counting on Grace" Link

  • Joint Resolutione of Vermont Legislature on Issuance of Postal Stamp Link

  • Department of Labor info on stamp Link

  • Book - Counting on Grace - Elizabeth Winthrop

  • "Mornings on Maple Street" article on Lewis Hine Link

Additional Images

Addie Card's class photo
Addie Card's class photo
North Pownal Manufacturing Company
North Pownal Manufacturing Company