Man on girders, mooring mast by Lewis Hine

The photograph “Man on girders, mooring mast” is a black-and-white image taken by the artist Lewis Hine during the construction of the Empire State Building. Captured in the photograph is a construction worker who is perched on a network of steel girders high above the city. The worker appears to be taking part in the construction efforts of the mooring mast atop the skyscraper. Below him, the urban landscape stretches into the distance with a misty or hazy quality, encapsulating the height and the perilous nature of the worker’s task.

In the photograph, the construction worker is seen sitting confidently on a girder, without any visible safety harnesses, reflecting the era’s less stringent safety standards. He is riveting or engaged in some aspect of connecting the girders together. The curvature of a large girder looms over the scene, adding a dramatic frame to the point of view, which emphasizes the vast height at which the worker is seated. The cityscape below is obscured slightly by the elevation and possibly the atmospheric conditions. This image is one of Lewis Hine’s famous photographs documenting the creation of an iconic New York City landmark during the early 20th century.

Other Photographs from Lewis Hine

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