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The Construction of The Empire State Building

Carl Russell waves to his co-workers on the structural work of the 88th floor of the new Empire State Building. Sep, 13. 1930.

Flirting with danger is just routine work for the steel workers arranging the steel frame for the Empire State Building. Sept. 29, 1930.

An odd photographic trick placed this steelworker’s finger on the lofty pinnacle of the Chrysler Building. This view was taken from the Empire State Building rising on the site of the old Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. A mooring mast for dirigibles will cap this 1,284-foot structure. Sept. 29, 1930.

A construction worker hangs from an industrial crane during the construction of the Empire State Building. Oct. 29, 1930.

It may be painful for the ant-like spectators in the street below, but it’s all in a day’s work for these smiling window washers as they go about their precarious work cleaning up the Empire State Building at dizzy heights of hundreds of feet above the street. Jan. 26, 1932.

The startling ‘shot’ was made by the photographer looking down upon the window washers on the 34th street side of the building. Note the tiny insects that are motor cars and pedestrians. Jan. 26, 1932.

A striking silhouette atop the gigantic RCA Building in Rockefeller Center, New York, as workmen light their cigarettes at the end of a working day. The Empire State Building rises dramatically in the background. Dec. 2, 1932.

An unusual picture of one of the intrepid window washers, as he pauses in his task to draw a lung-full of clean air at his height. Mar. 24, 1936.

Workmen at the new Empire State building erected on the site of the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel at 34th Street and 5th Avenue. in New York, by a corporation headed by the former Governor Al Smith, raised a flag on the 88th floor 1,048 feet above the street. The flag is at the highest point in the city higher then the Crystler Building. Photo shows the workmen at the ceremonies. Sept. 19, 1930.

A zeppelin mooring mast will cap this engineering feat. Sept. 29, 1930.

Workmen erect scaffolding as reconstruction work on the skyscraper begins. In spite of the damage the structure suffered when a B-25 crashed between the 78th and 79th stories, the world’s tallest building was open on July 30, 1945, two days after the tragic accident.

Workmen place one of the new beacon lights in position on the 90th floor of an impressive electronic crown in the form of four far-reaching night beacons. Combined, the four Empire State Night lights will generate almost two billion candle power of light and will be the brightest continuous source of man-made light in the world. Engineers say the beacons can be seen from as far as 300 miles. Cost of the installation is $250,000. Feb. 28, 1956.

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