The railroad employed a number of young boys to serve as apprentices during the advent of child labor laws. This photograph shows the Roanoke Shops machinist apprentices. A young apprentice would work a 10 hour day and often overtime on weekends. The apprenticeships opened doors of opportunity for later railroad employee and/or college admissions.
Images of Rail: Norfolk and Western Railway by Nelson Harris
Nelson Harris; Virginia Museum of Transportation
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unknown, “HNWR037,” Virginia Room Digital Collection, accessed July 7, 2020, http://www.virginiaroom.org/digital/document/HNWR037.