The Life of Happy

In May 1910, child welfare investigator Edward F. Brown carefully recorded the details he had gathered about the children selling papers on the streets of Wilmington, Delaware.

One boy, in particular, had drawn his attention: 9-year-old paper boy Donald Mallick, nicknamed Happy.

A familiar face in the town, Happy could be found out hustling at all hours of the night. Brown recorded the boy had recently been spotted in town at 11 p.m., looking for change and “working a last paper scheme”.


36-year-old photographer Lewis Wickes Hine was working with Investigator Brown, and took numerous photos of the children, including this one of Happy:

Library of Congress

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