|Portrait of Charles C. Ebbets atop a skyscraper in NYC|
|Charles C. Ebbets with his trusty camera hanging out over NYC|
|Charles C. Ebbets looking stylish on the job high above NYC|
Ebbets started his career during the 1920s in St. Petersburg, Florida, as a still photographer. He eventually became involved in early motion picture work, both in front of and behind the camera. In 1924, he had a brief stint as an actor, playing the role of an adventuresome African hunter known as "Wally Renny" in several motion pictures. In addition to his photographic endeavors, throughout the 20s he had many adventurous jobs including being a pilot, a wing-walker, an auto racer, a wrestler, and a hunter. He was also prizefighter Jack Dempsey's official staff photographer, a staff photographer for the Miami Daily News and a freelance photographer
Ebbets' two most famous photos were taken during the construction of the Rockefeller Center in New York in 1932. Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper depicts eleven men sitting on a girder eating lunch, their feet dangling from the beams hundreds of feet above the New York streets below was snapped on September 29, 1932, and appeared in the New York Herald Tribune shortly after. The photo was taken on the 69th floor in the last several months of construction. Men Asleep on a Girder is a picture of the same workers lying down on the beam taking a nap. Not until 2003 was Charles C. Ebbets officially recognized by the Bettman Archive as the photographer of Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper and dozens of other famous Bettman Archive photos which had previously been mis-marked or were marked as "photographer unknown."
|Lunch atop a Skyscraper, 1932 © Bettmann/Corbis|
|Men Asleep on a Girder, 1932 © Bettmann/Corbis|