Lewis W. Hine: Workers, Empire State Building (1931)


This iconic photograph shows up many times when people discuss the history of New York City because of its relevance to our skyscrapers and the people (mainly immigrants) that built them. The men on the beams are all Irish natives that came to Manhattan in search for a better life during grim economic times. Hine actually took the photo during the Great Depression. I feel like this shows how desperate people were to get work, regardless of the safety issues. As you can see, none of the men are wearing any type of safety gear, so just one misstep while they are working could lead to their deaths.

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