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Lunch Atop a Skyscraper 1932: Where Was Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Published

07.05.2021
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lunch atop a skyscraper photograph

Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Photograph

This photo is called lunch on top of a skyscraper. It shows how construction workers, without any insurance, take food at a height of 69 floors. They’re building this building. Of course, this photo is staged, but it has become legendary.

A series of photographs of lunch atop a skyscraper 1932 (Workers having lunch on a beam-1932) was taken on September 20, 1932, and appeared in the New York Herald Tribune on October 2.

Lunch Atop a Skyscraper History

A historian from the Corbis photo agency, which owns the rights to these images, said these photos were taken only to advertise the building that goes into the Rockefeller Center. There is a common misconception that this photo is intended to perpetuate in history the moment of construction of the building and show the courage and bravery of the builders. Confirmation of the version – captions to photos about the tallest building in New York.

There are a great many such photos and they depict truly unusual people. People who lack one of the deepest human fears — the fear of heights! By the way, according to one version, they were allegedly Indians of some tribe with such a common innate feature, a complete lack of fear of heights. It is not clear whether this is fiction or not.

Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Theory

lunch atop a skyscraper 1932

Is the photo real? Yes, definitely, without retouching. Do builders really eat lunch? No. They pose for an ad for a business center. Some people think they’re circus acrobats, but they’re not. Security at the construction site in those days was, let’s say, much easier than it is now. It’s just 11 hard workers who agreed to take a picture of lunch on the beam for an additional fee. Without insurance. The Great Depression pushed people to desperate adventures. In addition, there is a version that the floor is somewhere below, just the angle is so frightening.

So, initially, it was believed that the series of photos ” Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam-1932 “(“Workers lunch on a beam — 1932”), the most famous of which, of course, was “Lunch on top of a skyscraper” was taken on September 20, 1932, and appeared in the New York Herald Tribune on October 2, in order to memorialize the builders who, risking their own lives, built the famous Rockefeller Center in New York

However, Ken Johnston, a historian at the Corbis photo agency, which holds the rights to these images, claims that despite the fact that these photos are “part of American history”, and “Lunch…” continues to be the best-selling “historical picture” of his agency, they were not made for the sake of history. According to Johnston, the pictures were part of a Rockefeller Center ad campaign. This version is confirmed by the captions made to the photos, which claimed that the skyscraper under construction will be the tallest building in New York, the historian explained to The Independent. Many reproductions of the image indicate that its authorship is unknown, or the authorship was mistakenly attributed to Lewis Hine, who kept a photographic record of the construction of the Empire State Building in 1931. However, the Bettmann archive, the owner of the copyright to the photo, according to the results of a months-long examination conducted by a private detective firm, recognized Ebbets as the author of the picture.

Who Shot Lunch Atop a Skyscraper

The photo was taken on September 20, 1932, on the 69th floor of the RCA building (the future Rockefeller Center) in the last months of construction.

The original photo was considered “anonymous” for a long time and its authorship was not established.

Charles Ebbets Lunch Atop a Skyscraper

famous steel worker photo

After a long anonymous status, the photo still acquired its copyright holder. He became Charles Clyde Ebbets. In 2003, it was proved that this person was the photographer during the creation of the ad on top of the skyscraper. Why was the photo lunch atop skyscraper info? The photo shows workers sitting on a steel beam at a great height, almost in the sky, without any insurance or any supporting mechanisms, and peacefully eating, laughing, and communicating with each other.

A total of 11 people sit on a beam at a height of 256 meters above the streets of New York. The photo was taken during the Great Depression, when desperate people were ready for any job, regardless of security issues.

After the terrible terrorist attack that took place on September 11, 2001, which the whole world still remembers with a shudder, a week later, the Italian-born sculptor Sergio Furnari created the sculpture “lunch on a skyscraper” as a sign of respect for the builders. This is the life-size incarnation of the famous steelworker photo.

The sculpture was displayed as an inspirational symbol for the workers who were clearing the rubble on the site of the World Trade Center.

Since 2003, the sculptural composition is mobile and can be seen in different parts of New York on the back of a special truck.

In 2011, a remake of the picture of construction workers on beam was made on the roof of the Heron Tower in London.

Workers from London, inspired by the stolen photo, decided that they could also make a remake of the famous Rockefeller picture. They settled down at an altitude of 240 meters and began their dinner. But one detail was changed. In the original, one of the builders had a bottle of whiskey in his hand, but the Englishman had a bottle of cider in it. Also, the men decided not to take any risks, and unlike their predecessors, they put on protective uniforms. The photo has lost the same enthusiasm as in the original. Gone are the days.

Where Was Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Published

Despite the fact that the photo was kind of staged, yet it depicts the real builders who built this building. The world saw this photo on the pages of Sunday magazines on October 2, 1932. The main thing that the photographer and the publisher wanted was to show what stage of readiness the skyscraper was at.

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