Both before and after the Civil War, children were a significant part of the workforce at the Athens Factory. Before the Civil War, these children would have been both enslaved Black and free white kids.
Unfortunately, there are no known photos of kids working at the Athens Manufacturing Company, but there is one photo (taken around 1910) of children employed locally at the Whitehall Mill (located near the intersection of Milledge Avenue and Whitehall Road; now condominiums) and there are many early 20th-century photos of children working in Georgia taken by photographer and anti-child labor activist Lewis Hine.
Georgia allowed factory work for children and had some of the nation’s most permissive child labor laws. Campaigning for reform of these laws became a popular progressive era cause for outsiders (like Lewis Hine) and for Athens natives like Jacqueline Wilkins.