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Children playing volley ball in front of a public school, Pitcairn, PA, 1919.
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Children playing volley ball on a roped off street in front of a school,

Credit: Library of Congress

As working children reached record numbers in the early 1900s, the state of Pennsylvania passed new laws to limit child labor and require greater schooling. The Pennsylvania legislature passed its first compulsory education law in 1895. After Martin Brumbaugh took office, the legislature in 1915 passed the Pennsylvania Child Labor Law, setting fourteen as the minimum working age and requiring working children to have completed sixth grade, which helped to enforce the restrictions already in place. In the early 1900s, Pitcairn, about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh, was home of large railroad yards and shops that employed nearly 10,000 men.

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