A professor at UNC Chapel Hill is taking a deeper look into Southern mill culture.
Robert Allen is a Gastonia native who teaches in the university's American studies program.
He's looking for the descendants of children who were photographed nearly 100 years ago by Lewis Hine, an important 20th century photographer who documented violations of child labor laws.
Children under 12 weren't supposed to work in the mills, but parents often encouraged them to lie about their ages because families needed the money.
Textiles were a backbone of the Carolinas' economy and employed thousands during the 1900s.