There is not many people I know that have not seen or are familiar with the iconic photograph ‘Lunch atop a Skyscraper’, I even had a framed print of it on my bedroom wall growing up.
It was taken whilst the RCA Building (later the GE Building) was being constructed at the Rockefeller Center in New York City, 1932. Lunch Atop A Skyscraper depicts 11 men sat on a steel girder eating lunch, they are on the 69th floor (256 meters high) with no safety gear and their feet hanging.
For many years it has been argued whether it was natural, and that during The Great Depression jobs were taken regardless of safety issues or staged by the Rockefeller Center to promote the brand new skyscraper.
Men at Lunch is the untold story, directed by Sean Ó Cualáin, of the city’s legendary image, part homage, part investigation.
“For 80 years, the identity of the eleven men – and the photographer that immortalized them – remained a mystery: their stories, lost in time, subsumed by the fame of the image itself.
But then, at the start of the 21st century, the photograph finally began to give up some of its secrets.”