The photos of the construction of the Empire State Building show the (dangerous) daily life of workers
If you have a fear of heights or dizziness just looking down, surely the construction of the Empire State Building, the world’s tallest building, would not be for you.
Located in New York, more precisely on the famous Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets, the Empire State Building was built to be the tallest building in the world and it really was for a long time.
Today it is the fifth tallest in the United States of America and the 31st tallest in the world.
In its construction, safe working conditions were almost non-existent, but that didn’t matter to the workers. Most of them were immigrants who were facing great hardship because of the 1929 US Crisis.
Construction began exactly in 1929 and went on until 1931, an impressive time considering there are 102 floors!
According to official records, 3,400 men worked there at the same time at the height of the peak and, in all, 5 died.
It is very important to point out that at that time it was not mandatory to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), much less any specific protection to work at heights.
The building even set a construction record, as they managed to build an average of 4.5 houses a week.
These photos were taken by American Lewis Hine (1874-1940). Between 1930 and 1931, Hine photographed the work and the workers of the famous building on 5th Avenue.
Going through the same difficulties and the lack of security of workers, Hine made emblematic images that were published in the book Men at Work: Photographic Studies of Modern Men and Machines.
These images of the construction of the Empire State Building are property of the New York Public Library. Look:
Workers on top of the Empire State Building structure.
Workers constructing the structure of the building.
Preparation of the concrete for the construction of the Empire State Building.
Workers on top of the structure safely.
Workers on top of pillars and beams watching the view during construction.
Comparison of the Empire State Building still under construction with other existing buildings.
Installation of the steel beam.
Types of cranes used to assist in placing the beams.
Workers fitting the beams.
Immigrant worker assisting in the construction of the building structure.
Man fitting beams without safety.
Worker hanging on top of beam leaning on pillar.
Man fitting safety-free beams.
Construction of the Empire State Building underway.
Worker hanging from the structure without security.
The workers carrying out the fitting of the pillars.
Men working on the placement of the structure, without any security or protection.
View of building under construction by Chrysler Building.
Building skeleton with the first floors already under construction.
Empire State Building in the construction process.
Empire State Building under construction seen from Chrysler Building.
Construction of the top of the building.
Empire State Building seen at night
The Empire State Building seen from 34th Street.
Interested in knowing about other great buildings? We have a great article for you: The tallest buildings in Brazil, check it out, you will be amazed!