Chicago’s Youngest Candy Workers

Children in Hull-House Courtyard

Children in Hull-House Courtyard

Children in Hull-House Courtyard
Photograph; Chicago, USA
UIC Hull-House Yearbook collection, 1895

“Our very first Christmas at Hull-House, when we as yet knew nothing of child labor, a number of little girls refused the candy which was offered them as part of the Christmas good cheer, saying simply that they “worked in a candy factory and could not bear the sight of it.” We discovered that for six weeks they had worked from seven in the morning until nine at night, and were exhausted as well as satiated. The sharp consciousness of stern economic conditions was thus thrust upon us in the midst of the season of good will.”

– Jane Addams, 20 Years at Hull-House, 1910

Today, UIC stands in a neighborhood that was once dense with industrial factories, sweatshops, and tenement housing. Many children never attended school, but rather worked to support their families. Hull-House advocates like Jane Addams and others made great strides to limit child labor, improve local working conditions, and increase access to education and recreation. Despite this progress, these issues remain relevant in Chicago and around the world.

Was child labor involved with producing your holiday candy?

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  • Map of Chicago's Chocolate Production

    Map of Chicago's Chocolate Production

  • Image of Chicago's Youngest Candy Workers

    Chicago's Youngest Candy Workers

  • Image of Milky Way Box

    Milky Way Box

  • Image of Chocolate Cookbook

    Chocolate Cookbook

  • Image of Chocolate Spoon

    Chocolate Spoon

  • Image of Molinillo


  • Image of Frango Mint Box

    Frango Mint Box

  • Image of Chocolate near UIC

    Chocolate near UIC

  • Image of Choco-Stories 3

    Choco-Stories in Chicago

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