Balancing on the Empire State

‘Construction of the Empire State Building was one of the most remarkable feats of the 20th century. It took only 410 days to build, by 3,400 workers, many of them desperate for work at the height of the Depression. The work force was made up largely of immigrants, along with hundreds of Mohawk Indian iron workers.’

- Washington Post

All images by Lewis Wickes Hine, New York Public Library
Thank you to Robert Loch

12 comments to Balancing on the Empire State

  • Lioness

    The caps amaze me. They must have been tight fitting to stay on way up there.

  • maverickmark

    Shard is 700 days to date being built near London Bridge. Maybe its Health and Safety. Have a look at the guys standing on planks. Thanks for this

  • Matthew

    Fascinating - were there any construction workers that fell to their death? Health and safety seems to have been a bit … lacking back then.

  • tim

    During the planning stages, it was estimated that one construction worker would die per floor (so about 100 in all). In the end, only a dozen or so people were killed.

  • CharlesH.

    Hanging on to dear life with only thick leather gloves. All the more amazing is the “just another day’s work” look on the men’s faces.

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  • María

    Actually the Daleks did it…

  • Uncle B

    Shameless exploitation of white European immigrants by Capitalists, Corporatists of America - Detroit City built to its former greatness by same guys. North America’s mineral deposits, mined the same way, Forests exploited by same good blood, Steel, Copper, Silver all Smelted likewise - Now, Europe has run dry, easy resources done, Capitalists , Corporatists turn their back on America’s workers, look to Asia for even cheaper labor, even less restrictions.

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  • Ray Martin

    Holy crap in a handcart! I’ve worked at height but I get the wobbles just looking at these.

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