Lewis Hine was a 20th century American photographer and social activist. Lewis Hine began his social activism in 1908, when he was hired by the National Child Labor Committee to covertly document the poor conditions of child laborers. Posing in a variety of guises, Hine spent the next five years taking pictures of deplorable workhouse conditions. These photographs were instrumental in the passing of the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act in 1916. After his success with child labor, Hine went on to document the work of the Red Cross in Europe after World War I and the building of the Empire State Building.