Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Arts & Entertainment
  3. Performing Arts

Men Asleep on a Girder, Autumn 1932. Historic photo leads to Men at Lunch

See also

Men at Lunch


Everything old can sometimes be new again.
New York City, 1932. The country is in the throes of the Great Depression, the previous decade's boom of Italian, Irish and Jewish immigrants has led to unprecedented urban expansion, and in the midst of an unseasonably warm autumn, steelworkers risk life and limb building skyscrapers high above the streets of Manhattan.
In Men at Lunch (First Run Features), director Seán Ó Cualáin tells the story of "Lunch atop a Skyscraper," the iconic photograph taken during the construction of Rockefeller Center that depicts 11 workmen taking their lunch break seated on a girder with their feet dangling 850 feet above the New York City streets, Central Park and the misty Manhattan skyline stretching out behind them. There they were, om the 69th floor of the GE Building, the center piece of New York’s Rockefeller Center, as construction neared completion in the autumn.
For 80 years, the identity of the 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. "Men Asleep on a Girder" shows the same workers eating . . . others know the same men napping on the beam. Part homage, part investigation, Men at Lunch is the sublime tale of an American icon, an unprecedented race to the sky and the immigrant workers that built New York.
By the way: Charles C. Ebbets was the photographer, though his identity wasn't discovered until October 2003, after months of investigation by a private investigation firm.


Today's top buzz...

  • NHL ice girls
    They may be smoking hot, but these NHL ice girls serve a purpose
    Sports Chicks
  • Miley Cyrus
    Find out why Miley Cyrus was forced to cancel a Kansas City concert
    Music News
  • Amaris Jackson
    The Washington Wizards sign a 10-year-old with cancer to contract
    NBA Buzz
  • Emily Kinney
    'Walking Dead' fans are buzzing about the show as Emily Kinney was spotted with writers
    TV Buzz
  • Barry Trotz
    The Nashville Predators part ways with the only coach they've ever had
    NHL Buzz
  • AC/DC
    AC/DC may announce their retirement following a serious health issue
    Music Buzz

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!