Today in 1932, one of the most famous, astonishing photographs of all time: the one known as “Lunch Atop A Skyscraper.”

Eleven workers, sitting on a steel beam, eating lunch, chatting, looking like it was the most normal thing in the world to be dangling on a construction site, 850 feet above New York City.

At least that’s what the photographer wanted people to see – whoever that photographer was.

There were several photographers on the construction site that day, and they were all taking photos of the iron workers, but we don’t know for sure who took this iconic image.

The idea was to get the public excited about the construction of the building now known as 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

The Great Depression was hard times for many working people; the photographers were taking pictures that showed the iron workers, many of whom were likely immigrants, in the midst of a huge achievement.

While the workers couldn’t defy gravity, they were so amazing they could at least thumb their noses at it.

That’s how it looks, anyway.

There may have been a floor underneath the men that you couldn’t see in the photo.

The workers look natural, but the image was definitely posed.

There were other images from the same day that show them back on the beam tossing a football around, holding a flag or pretending to take naps.

The lunch photo is the one that made it into the New York Herald Tribune.

It’s about as well known today as any photo ever taken.

What isn’t well known: who those workers on the skyscraper were.

The makers of a documentary on the photo did a deep dive to try to figure out who was who.

Out of the 11 workers, they were able to confirm the names of just two.

September is National Chicken Month.

Interesting fact: somebody once invented chicken eyeglasses, as a way to keep the birds from pecking at each other’s eyes.

At some farms, they even put rose-colored glasses on their flocks.

Lunch Atop a Skyscraper Photograph: The Story Behind the Famous Shot (Smithsonian)

Chicken Glasses (National Band and Tag Company via YouTube)

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Photo: Public Domain, via Wikicommons