Amazing Empire State Building construction photos from 1931 show workers hanging on for dear life

|  July 01, 2013 |

OSHA might frustrate those in the construction industry from time to time, but after taking a look at these photos, you might be a little more thankful it’s around. Brought to our attention by the folks at BuzzFeed, these photos from the New York Public Library’s digital collection are from 1931 and give an amazing perspective of the construction site of New York City’s famed Empire State Building. The $25 million project took a little more than a year to complete and at certain points, more than 3,400 workers were on the job at the same time.

What’s amazing, given these photos, is that only five workers died during the project.

An Empire State Building worker clings to a piece of steel high above New York City. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

An Empire State Building worker clings to a piece of steel high above New York City. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

Workers among a field of girders during construction of the Empire State Building. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

Workers among a field of girders during construction of the Empire State Building. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

Construction of the Empire State building 3/4 of the way finished. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

Construction of the Empire State building 3/4 of the way finished. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

Worker clings to a wire during construction of the Empire State Building. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

Worker clings to a wire during construction of the Empire State Building. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

A workers signals to the hookman as the New York skyline sits peacefully below. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

A workers signals to the hookman as the New York skyline sits peacefully below. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

Empire State Building welders work high above the city. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

Empire State Building welders work high above the city. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

Two workers lower a beam into place with a crane. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

Two workers lower a beam into place with a crane. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

A worker rides a crane hook during construction of the Empire State Building. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

A worker rides a crane hook during construction of the Empire State Building. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

Teamwork high above the ground. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

Teamwork high above the ground. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

Sparks fly as a welder works on the Empire State Building in 1931. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

Sparks fly as a welder works on the Empire State Building in 1931. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

Workers stand on the edge of a beam during construction of the Empire State Building. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

Workers stand on the edge of a beam during construction of the Empire State Building. Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine

 

 

 

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement
advertisement
advertisement