Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper

Lunch atop a skyscraper taken by Charles C Ebbets

Lunch Atop a Skyscraper (New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam) is a famous photograph taken in 1932 by Charles C. Ebbets during construction of the RCA Building (renamed as the GE Building in 1986) at Rockefeller Center.

The photograph depicts 11 men eating lunch, seated on a girder with their feet dangling hundreds of feet above the New York City streets. Ebbets took the photo on September 29, 1932, and it appeared in the New York Herald Tribune in its Sunday photo supplement on October 2. Taken on the 69th floor of the GE Building during the last several months of construction, the photograph Men Asleep on a Girder shows the same workers napping on the beam.  from Wikipedia

Have you ever seen this photograph?

I see it every so often at the poster stores.  It's an incredible sight, that's for sure.  Can you imagine hanging out on an I-beam 70 floors above the ground?

My semi fear of heights kicks in just thinking about it. 

Semi fear = my knees get weak when I get too close to the edge.

Actually I say my "Wees get kneak"

That makes me laugh every time.


Yesterday as I was leaving my house I saw this truck in the parking lot of the sandwich shop across the street from my condo.

I had left exactly on time to make it to my meeting, but I knew this wasn't going to be in this same spot when I got back home.

So, I stopped and clicked.

Doesn't it look like they are holding laptops? 

I couldn't figure out why these guys looked so weird.

But when I saw this close up I figured it out.

Do you see those ankles?

They are stuffed people forms with real clothes and then the whole thing was painted silver.

Do you see this guys glove?  It looks like they missed a couple of the fingers with the paint.

Even though it's a scary copy of the original photo, it's still very cool.  I'm glad I had my camera with me - but I'm also very glad that I wasn't late to my meeting :)

Have a great day!

EDITED to add (22 Aug 2010) - The truck and these boys did come back. The truck and the beam that the construction workers are sitting on got decals put on them for Larry's Giant Subs. I'm glad I got the photos when I did because they aren't logo'd up...but I am glad that I get to see these guys when I leave the house. It's kind of fun.


jb said...

I have a copy of the photo on a mug the I bought at "Top of the Rock", which is a rooftop view of Manhattan at Rock Center. You see the same views as the Empire State building, for less money and very little wait time. I recommend Top to anybody who wants to see NYC that way. The crush of crowds and wait time for Empire is just too much for me!
By the way, the men having lunch were building the very building my father later worked in for years and years! I <3 NY!

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

That is sooooo cool! Can you imagine OSHA LETTING men eat on a beam with no safety equipment today?????? Not hardly.

I LOVE the replica - - -and the very first thing I thought was someone had redone the original photo with laptops!!!

Wonder where that thing on the truck was going. Oh how I wish you'd have had time to find out!

Lisa Ceaser said...

I commented on FB, but I'll put it here too. I work for OSHA and we actually have those posters and a few others like it decoratingo our office!! :) We find it ironic.

Just Breathe said...

No I haven't seen that picture before. It scares the sh*t out of me, can you imagine! How awesome that you came across that statue.
Yes they do look like they are holding laptops. Very interesting for sure.

Loria said...

I love that photo and I've seen ones where they substituted (photoshop?) women from the era onto that beam so it's all women eating lunch .. LOL. I am afraid of heights - I don't even like to look down out of a window when I'm way up high - way high, not 2nd story - it makes me dizzy.

Rachel said...

That image has been the main artwork in my living room for nearly 20 years. I absolutely love it and everyone who comes to our home is taken by it. The conversations that have stemmed from this image are varied and often enlightening.

Glad you like it too. :)