No one knows the true identity of all eleven men, but for certain they were part of the new generation of Americans, descendants of late 19th century European migrants.
The half-built edifice on which they precariously balance is the RCA building, tallest of 14 art deco skyscrapers in the complex. When the image was first published, New York was undergoing an Indian summer and Wall Street was at its lowest level, with unemployment at 24%.
Smoking, chatting and grabbing a bite, workmen sit nonchalantly on a steel beam. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of this iconic image, join us on an interactive trip back in time.
Discover an age when industrialization and immigration were exploding, where Prohibition had failed to curb the 1920’s, but the Wall Street Crash was to darken the next decade. See what we wore, the games we played and how lives were lived on the edge.
This beloved image is just one of millions in the unsurpassed Bettmann Archive, home to legendary portraits of Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe and landmark moments in history such as the Hindenberg disaster and Rosa Parks’ defiant anti-segregation statement.
Housed in a secure underground facility in Western Pennsylvania, the Bettmann Archive also contains lifestyle scenes from long-gone eras, an eye-opening advertising retrospective and a vast collection of fine art.