Lunch Atop A Skyscraper Essay

1009 words - 4 pages

Conceivably one of the most copied, iconic depression era images, as well as one of the single most popular stock photo images in the Corbis “Bettman collection” (Parente 2003), “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” neither brought fame nor fortune to the photographer that captured that moment in time that still brings an uneasy sense of acrophobic fear to it’s viewers. Charles Clyde Ebbets, born August 18th, 1905 in Alabama, never knew the popularity that this emblematic representation of the daredevil American steel worker, in the midst of the skyscraper-building boom of depression era New York, would eventually attain.
“Lunch atop a Skyscraper” as it has now become known, was originally created in 1932 as part of the “Rockefeller Center” building documentation that Ebbets was hired to conduct. Ebbets who seasonally traveled the east coast working on photographic assignments during the early 1930’s had gained a reputation among editors, as somewhat of a daredevil photographer, as well as someone that had the ability to get pictures that no one else was able to (Stinnett 2010). He was aptly retained by Hamilton Wright Features Syndicate as the photographic editor in charge of documenting the construction of the Rockefeller Center construction site, both for archival and publicity purposes. The original image was first published in the New York Herald Tribune in 1932, followed by an article the next day documenting the daredevil photographer’s exploits in capturing the image; devoid the use of any safety devices at over 800 feet above the streets of New York.
Countless Ebbets images have been published world wide, but as was often the case, once the image had been used they were seldom seen again and forgotten. Such was the case with “Lunch atop a Skyscraper”. After it’s initial publication, Ebbets’ most famous image was stored and eventually acquired by the “Bettman Collection” which then was acquired by the Corbis Stock Photo Agency. “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” became Corbis’ highest selling stock image ever, yet the photographer was listed as “unknown”. It wasn’t until Corbis decided to create a coffee table book utilizing “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” as the cover image, that a search was conducted to find the original photographer. In 2003, the family of Charles Clyde Ebbets came forward with conclusive proof that he, in fact was that daring photographer that immortalized 11 fearless men on the skeleton of the 69th floor of the Rockefeller Center.
“Lunch atop a Skyscraper” has often been confused with the work that Lewis Hine had done on the Empire State building, but unlike Hine, Ebbets work leans towards a more, “publicity” oriented nature. The men are portrayed in extremely dangerous situations that are further emphasized by the juxtaposition of the elements to their dangerous surroundings. The “danger element” however appears intentionally, almost absurdly, minimalized in the attitude of the subjects. It becomes clear with review of other...

Find Another Essay On Lunch Atop a Skyscraper

Behind the Walls Essay

1315 words - 6 pages mat. You lie face down and let the wave of blended scent of antiseptic products, stale urine, and dried blood fill your nostrils. Home sweet home. Complete silence presses against your ears. Not serene, but fierce, almost overwhelming. You cringe. After an eternity of nothingness, you remember the audience and decide to stand. When you try to open your eyes, you discover a delicate layer of dust gathered atop your eyelids. The only thing you

rwerewr Essay

897 words - 4 pages “Peregrine Falcon’s Prey “ boldly stamped on their backs. Even if the prey is in the middle of being detained or eaten, Peregrines are well-known to barge right in and perform ‘Grand Theft Prey’ on their fellow predators and chow down on the poached lunch. Without a doubt, the Peregrine is by no means Mr. Shy Falcon; it’s not afraid to show all the other birds who is boss. Last but not least, where does the Peregrine Falcon live? How has it adapted to

Philadelphia's Cira Center

2581 words - 10 pages boards of a computer. The skyscraper is a miracle of power, technology and art.Philadelphia's Cira Centre was opened to tenants and the public in October 2005. Its completion marked a special moment for the city of brotherly love. It is the city's first new office tower in fifteen years. Boasting a uniquely modern design, it contains 26 floors of office space and an additional three floors that house heavy-duty heating, ventilation and air

Fighting Over One Hundred Years for Modernism

1312 words - 5 pages there are sixteen pillars and not ten. The third Building is the National Congress Building, it is Brazils most powerful piece of architecture. It was built in 1960. The building is placed between two embankments to allow easy roof access. The building is separated into two different parts. The first part is in the front, and it houses the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The second part of the building is a double skyscraper, it is behind the

Christmas Funfest

3851 words - 16 pages perched atop his cane. I rubbed my eyes, and when he hadn't somehow disappeared, I practically jogged toward him. He bowed his head before saying, "Ness, you have stood on the eight power spots of the Earth. From these, you've created Magicant; the realm of your mind." I returned a simple frown at first before replying with, "My mind?" He gave a nod. "Yes, you are in your own mind right now." "H-how is that possible, though?" "I thought I'd told

Hatred in A Seperate Peace

863 words - 3 pages ignite into a blazing inferno one moment or in a flash it can be as calm as a soothing summer day. This hatred is discovered when Gene and Finny are standing atop the oak tree outside of Devon, and are about to make a "double jump" in the river, what happens will be seen in the following excerpt taken from A Separate Peace. "Holding firmly to the trunk I took a step toward him [Finny], and then my knees bent and I jounced the limb. Finny, his

Textbooks vs. Tablets

1171 words - 5 pages Wrapped in the comfort of your favorite blanket, you sit on the plump couch as the rain tip-taps on the window. A bag of demolished potato chips lies at your side. Guilty greasy fingertips glide across the keys, each move illuminating your face with a different picture. Your phone, swarmed by texts, is buzzing atop the arm of the couch and you have not determined when to grab it. Molding society into what it has become today, technology is a

"The Great Gatsby" by Fitzgerald. Describe chapter 2-4

1274 words - 5 pages invitation had been sent to him. Gatsby himself never attended his 'little parties,' but as later found out, he preferred to overlook the chaos from a high room atop his mansion. The parties in their content were very rude, bizarre and exciting...Guests varied in demeanor and type and made a mosaic of to be in attendance at this particular party was Jordan Baker, the Golf Champion. Nick attaches himself to Jordan due to his

New Year's Resolutions!

1087 words - 5 pages Wrapped in the comfort of your favorite blanket, you sit on the plump couch as the rain tip-taps on the window. Your phone, swarmed by texts, is buzzing atop the arm of the couch and you have not determined when to grab it. Molding society into what it has become today, technology is a part of nearly everyone’s lives. The push for technology has evolved from the workplace to the home and now it is emerging into schools. Technology, such as a

No Carrots, Please

2958 words - 12 pages interminable. Her words buzzed and flitted about the apartment, until, with a kiss atop her daughter's head, the sleek and somewhat befuddled Nancy Addison descended into a cab and he ascended the throne of reluctant parenthood. Sunday afternoon consisted of one Disney movie, a large buttered popcorn, two ice cream cones, a street vendor's fat pretzel, a question-filled walk down the ramp at the Guggenheim, topped off by a greasy pizza on

The mystery house

773 words - 3 pages and the door had opened. As I entered the house I thought it was the end of me for I stood atop an endless void. Correction I stood in the center of a void looking down into a never-ending drop. Wait a second. There was something wrong here and it wasn't the fact that I felt like I was going to lose my lunch so I jumped. Clunk I felt so stupid I was standing in a room painted to look like a huge hole. So proudly I walked across what was once a

Similar Essays

This Essay Describes The Events Leading Up To The International Style Of Architecture Being Used In America, The Architects Who Led This Movement And What Their Accomplishments Were

1281 words - 5 pages , usually made of glass, thus the glass-box skyscraper.(Seagram Building, 1952)This building was quite a piece of work. It is generally recognized as the finest skyscraper designed and built in the International Style. The building has very elegant proportions. It is set ninety feet away from the main road, with thirty feet of space on either side. It is thirty-eight stories high. The tinted-glass and bronze 'I-beams' give the building its

Look Into The Skyy Essay

791 words - 4 pages consumers. Advertising campaigns flood the minds of the public in order to attract a certain target market. Skyy Vodka’s advertising campaign sends a message to their customers that by consuming their product, one will feel youthful, sexy, wealthy, powerful and desirable. At first glance one might see a tall, slim, beautiful young brunette woman with divine assets both atop and bottom. This young woman is dressed in an elegant yet lustful black

My Education Is The Key To A Successful Future

849 words - 3 pages me by assuming the mantle of their protector, the one who intercepts harm and puts his life on the line for their safety. Doing this will ensure that those in the fields of art, business, and education never feel the sting of injustice and oppression. No greater definition of a successful future can be found anywhere then being able to ensure that others may live their lives in peace as a result of my actions. As a skyscraper is built tier by

The Hammon And The Beans By Americo Paredes

647 words - 3 pages cooks would grant her the leftovers. He had just moved into the neighborhood when a boy invited him to hear Chonita make a speech. He saw she was a scrawny girl with dirty feet. All of the children were looking on as she stood atop an alley fence. Everyone was shouting, "Speech! Speech! Let Chonita make a speech! Talk in English Chonita!" She yelled out, "Give me the hammon and the beans! Give me the hammon and the beans!" Every evening