Lunch Atop A Skyscraper: What’s The Story Behind This Photo?

Lunch Atop A Skyscraper has a unique story

Lunch Atop A Skyscraper – This is one of the famous photos that has reached the present generation and this comes with an amazing story behind this.

Nowadays, it is common for many people to take a picture of their lunch or whatever food before eating. Often, it is for the “gram” or something that should be posted on the photo-sharing social media platform Instagram.

Some would even make sure that their photos should be “Instagrammable.” However, decades before this fad started to be practiced by many people around the world, there was already a famous photo featuring the laborers’ lunchtime.

lunch atop a skyscraper
The New York Times

Lunch Atop A Skyscraper was coined by the New York Herald Tribue, based on the article in Mental Floss. It was unknown who took this photo and it was apparent that the laborers were not wearing any safety gear and this contributed to how it became iconic.

Reportedly, the photo is credited to Lewis Hine. However, three photographers were present at the photoshoot and they were Charles C. Ebbets, Thomas Kelley, and William Leftwich.

Today, some men in the photo are still unidentified. For some time, it was believed that the man smoking in the photo was Mohawk Indian Peter Rice. However, the documentary Men at Lunch released in 2012 failed to confirm that. People behind the documentary were able to identify two men, Joe Curtis and Joseph Eckner (third from right and third from left, respectively).

The photo was taken in 1932. That was the time when America was in the midst of the Great Depression. This could reflect the story of undeterred American optimism or possibly the careless exploitation of lower-class immigrants, or it could be both.

This was taken when the RCA building was being built. Today, the building is called 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It is known as the location where the shows Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon are filmed.

The photo was not candid, it was staged with real steelworkers, and this was intended to advertise the building. Some people believed that there was something below the men for their protection but this was not confirmed.

Other famous photos with amazing stories behind them are Einstein Tongue Photo, The Blue Marble, Princess Diana-John Travolta Photo, Elvis Presley, Pres. Richard Nixon Photo.

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