Look at this photograph and you will think twice if it is just a hoax. Look at this photograph and your insides will whirl. Look at this photograph and you will say, “Whoa!”
Were these men, whose feet were dangling hundreds of feet above New York’s streets, out of their minds? Because, really, who will eat lunch on a hanging girder and, consequently, who would be courageous enough to take a picture during the Rockefeller Center’s construction – on the 69th floor?
This legendary photograph which portrays 11 workers having a lunch break defines the career of an American photographer, Charles Ebbets. In 1932, Ebbets was the photographic director of the building’s construction. He took this famous photo in September of the same year and shortly after, it was published in the New York Herald Tribune.
This became one of the photographs that changed the world. It was adopted by pop culture and has so many versions to date. Some of these were humorous renditions featuring Hollywood icons, the Muppets, and even the casts from F.R.I.E.N.D.S., among others.
Another stomach-heaving photograph by Ebbets shows the same workers sleeping above Manhattan, as shown below.
- All images in this article are from Google Images.
Which other photographs do you think are influential? Post a hyperlink to the image in the comments – if you know it, please include the photographer’s name and the year the photo was taken.
Our intention with the Influential Photographs columns is not to glorify or demean the subject of the photo. Our intention with this column is to highlight the most influential analogue photographs of history. The photographs we feature are considered icons, for their composition, subject matter, or avant-garde artistic value.