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Friday, September 21, 2012

The picture that proves why iconic photograph of workers eating their lunch on Rockefeller beam was all a publicity stunt


Staged: The iconic photograph of workers enjoying their break whilst perched on a beam 69 floors up was, in fact, just a publicity stunt

It is one of the most iconic photographs of all time but as it celebrates its 80th anniversary it has emerged that ‘Lunch atop a Skyscraper’ may not have been as impromptu as previously thought.
Archivists say the shot showing 11 construction workers enjoying their break on a suspended beam, high above the streets of Manhattan, was in fact a publicity stunt.
Although the models were real workers, the moment was staged by the Rockefeller Center to promote their new skyscraper 80 years ago today.
The claim is supported by a second - and rarely seen - image from the same organised shoot which shows the crew in a different pose lying down on the girder.

'The other one': It is this image, of four construction workers take a nap on the same beam shot on the same day which, according to archives, prove it was all just a set-up

Taken on September 20, 1932 it was intended to look like a natural break during the construction of the RCA Building (later renamed the GE Building in 1986), which forms part of the Rockefeller Center.
The image of the 11 workers perched on a beam 69 floors above Manhattan eating lunch, sharing banter and lighting cigarettes is one of the world’s most reproduced.

The Rock: The construction of the 14 Rockefeller Center towers was the largest private building project undertaken in modern times

‘The image was a publicity effort by the Rockefeller Center. It seems pretty clear they were real workers, but the event was organised with a number of photographers.’ Ken Johnston, chief historian for Corbis Images, which owns the rights to the photo, told the Independent.
He added that it is Corbis Images’ biggest selling historical image and tops other iconic historical photographs in the Corbis catalogue, including those of Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King.
The original negative of the photograph is stored in a temperature-controlled facility under Pennsylvania’s Iron Mountain. Johnston described the world famous black and white photograph as 'a piece of American history.'

source: dailymail

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