The iconic photograph above, one of my all-time favorites, was taken 80 years ago today (September 20, 1932). 800 feet above 47th Street in NYC, eleven workmen sit nonchalantly enjoying a lunch break.
As Corbis Images says in their 1930s retrospective, “No one knows the true identity of all eleven men, but for certain they were part of the new generation of Americans, descendants of late 19th century European migrants. The half-built edifice on which they precariously balance is the RCA building, tallest of 14 art deco skyscrapers in the complex. When the image was first published, New York was undergoing an Indian summer and Wall Street was at its lowest level, with unemployment at 24%.”
It’s one of those images that draws you in, makes you want to know the stories of all the people, and stays with you.