A Picture Worth a Thousand Words: Lunch Atop A Skyscraper

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Talk about fear of heights. Do you recall the photo of the men working on a skyscraper and sitting on a casually midair while they had their lunch? Omg. Every time I look at it I serious get dizzy. There is NO amount of money you could give me to get on a piece of metal midair with no harness and have a meal. I would literally fall and die. I know I sound so dramatic but this lady wasn't born a bird so therefore I do not like heights. But I do love this photo.

It just personifies the struggling working class man in America during The Great Depression.

Here is the photo taken in 1932 by Charles Clyde Ebbets:

A Vintage Nerd, Vintage Blog, Retro Lifestyle Blog, A Picture Worth a Thousand Words, Historic Photos, Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Photo

There is not a lot known about the men in the photo although there have been many claims. The movie Men at Lunch (available on Netflix) traces some of the men to possible Irish origin, but the director plans to do further interviews to follow up among others claims from Swedish relatives. 

From the left, number three is Joseph Eckner, number four is Michael Breheny, number five is Albin Svensson and number six with the cigarette is John Patrick Madden. The first man from the right is Slovakian worker Gusto Popovic who sent this picture home to his wife who indicates that there is actually a floor directly underneath the frame. The third from the right is Joe Curtis.

Hopefully one day we can know more about these men and whether or not there is truth in the story about having a floor underneath them while they ate. It would make more sense to me as I cannot imagine anyone being that calm and relaxed while dangling from that extreme height. Oh boy. That is a doozy!

A side note: Do you notice that the last man to the right is holding a bottle of whiskey?

Did you see the documentary on Netflix? Would you like to see it reviewed here on A Vintage Nerd? What are your thoughts when you look at this photo?

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  1. I don't have a major fear of heights but that would scare me ha.

  2. Wow, that guy with the whiskey... talk about an intense sobriety test every day! Walking in a straight line would be REALLY important there!

  3. I love this photo, although it kind of makes me dizzy. I am not a fan of height at all. I have that movie in my Netflix que but have not watched it yet.

    She Knits in Pearls

  4. I remember seeing that photo as a very littje girl and loving it. The documentary sounds very interesting
    Retro rover

  5. I am with you on the terror! I would also fall and die, I am sure! I have never noticed the whisky before. That is an incredible and even more terrifying feature!


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