A steelworker just hanging out during the construction of the Empire State Building in 1930

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A steelworker just hanging out during the construction of the Empire State Building in 1930

If there’s one thing that history can teach us it’s that steelworkers are some of the bravest people to ever walk the earth – or walk above it. While working on the Empire State Building. One question many people have when they see photos like this is how they were captured. The photos look as if they were taken by someone floating in mid-air, and that’s kind of how it happened.

Photographer Lewis Hine was brought onto document the construction of the Empire State Building, and as the construction got higher he had to figure out new ways to capture the workers and the building. Hide stood in a specially designed basket that swung out 1,000 feet above Fifth Avenue and he snapped pictures of the building as well as “work portraits” of the workers.

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