Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Photography of Lewis Hine

My Mom was astonished by the photo at the top when she saw it a day ago for the first time. I recognized it and went searching for more...
These photographs* were taken by American sociologist and photographer Lewis Hine (1874-1940), best known for documenting child labor in an effort to put an end to it. (A project is currently underway to identify and interview those subjects.) The men in these photos are in the process of constructing the Empire State Building, which Hines was commissioned to document in 1930. Unlike his portraits of child workers, these images celebrate the American worker. Although there are no self-portraits, the photographer assumed many precarious positions himself to get the right vantage point for his camera.
*Erratum: The photograph at the top was in fact taken by Charles C. Ebbets during the construction of 30 Rockefeller Center.


  1. The top picture was not taken by Lewis Hine it was actually taken in 1932 by Charles C. Ebbets during construction of the RCA Building (renamed as the GE Building in 1986) at Rockefeller Center. My great Uncle is the fourth one from the right Francis Michael Rafferty, the gentleman to his right is his lifelong friend Stretch Donahue.

  2. Joan Collins Williams4/26/2012 10:45 PM

    The ironworker in the middle is my father Arthur W. Collins. In the late 90's this picture was on display in a window front in Old Colorado City, CO and he remembered this picture being taken. The box lunches were given to the ironworkers for having their pictures taken.

  3. The man in the middle, number six, from either end, is my Father John Patrick Madden,of Irish decent,born in Punxsutawney Pa.in 1905.


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