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This Happened

This Happened — September 20:  Lunch Atop A Skyscraper

On this day in 1932, the famous photo was taken that captured construction workers having lunch while sitting on a steel beam 850 feet above the ground during the construction of the Rockefeller Center in New York City.

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Who took the "Lunch Atop a Skyscraper" photograph?

The photograph was taken by Charles C. Ebbets, a photographer who documented various aspects of construction work during the early 20th century. The identities of the workers in the photo are not definitively known. They were construction workers who were part of the team working on the Rockefeller Center. The photograph has become a symbol of the hard work and daring nature of these laborers during the construction boom of the 1930s.

Why were the workers sitting on the steel beam during lunch in the "Lunch Atop a Skyscraper" photograph?

The workers were likely taking a break and having their lunch. While this might seem daring and risky to modern standards, such practices were not uncommon at the time. Construction safety regulations and equipment were not as advanced as they are today.

Is the "Lunch Atop a Skyscraper" photograph authentic or staged?

There has been some debate over whether the photograph was entirely spontaneous or staged for publicity purposes. While some accounts suggest that the photo was posed, many sources indicate that it captured a genuine moment of lunchtime relaxation for the workers.

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