UK Roller Coaster Workers Recreate Iconic ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ Photo from 1932


The photo above probably looks very familiar to you. Steel workers, eating lunch, sitting up very high in the air… rings a bell doesn’t it? If you still haven’t figured it out, the image above is a tongue-in-cheek recreation of the iconic 1932 photo “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” by Charles C. Ebbets.

The photo was created almost a year ago by the steelworkers busy at work putting together the roller coaster “The Smiler” at the Alton Towers amusement park in Staffordshire, United Kingdom. Taken right after the final piece of track was installed, the workers lined up and posed just like the original photo below:

New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam

Of course, there is one significant difference between the two: the NYC steelworkers photo is so famous in part because none of them are wearing any safety harnesses. The Alton Towers crew decided that wasn’t such a good idea.

(via Gizmodo)

P.S. For the roller coaster enthusiasts in the audience, you might like to know that The Smiler holds the world record for the most track inversions (14 total) of any coaster.

Image credits: Photographs by Alton Towers and Charles C. Ebbets.

  • Fahad Jafarullah

    Not nearly as cool as the original. Not even a little.

  • readytocast

    10 feet above the ground – impressive….

  • joey

    the problem is the separation between the background and foreground. its just not there in the “recreation.” The background and foreground are almost indistinguishable.

  • Phil Ruberry

    went through all the trouble in trying to replicate the clothing and poses and miss one guy out?

  • Justin

    I think you’ll find this was meant as a bit of a laugh, not a faithful reproduction of the original photo! So please stop banging on about the depth of field and missing person. It was a fun photo-Not a work of art…

  • Richard Horsfield

    …the eleventh guy was taking the picture ;)

  • PTBridgeport

    So, how many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? 133.

    1 to actually change the light
    33 to say they could have done it better
    24 to say that there would have been more soul and dynamic range in the light bulb changing if they would have used film
    41 to say that no one should be paying attention to that photographer changing the light bulb because they’ve only been changing light bulbs
 for 2 years and with the digital age it’s just too easy for newbs to start changing light bulbs when they should be studying the art of light bulb changing
    17 to rhetorically ask “have they ever even used a darkroom???“
    13 to pay absolutely no attention
    4 photographers to actually say “good for you!“

  • LLamaRama

    Lets see you do better. At least they made the effort what did you do to contribute to this world. just piss on everyone elses efforts.

  • LLamaRama

    Ignorance and stupidity is no excuse for your negative sarcasm with today’s H&S restrictions, they’d never get away with tall heights. Go jump of a bridge and die please. k thx. One less negative twat.

  • LLamaRama

    yay for someone offering constructive feedback. you speak the truth it should be in a photog bible.

  • LLamaRama

    so where’s the 12th guy then (the one taking the original picture).

  • dannybuoy

    I think its a fun idea and quite well done. But I can’t help but think I’d like to see a full colour modern day version that would show how times have changed and not just retro for the sake of retro

  • @JacksonCheese

    Spot on. And that’s why you need to shoot for yourself and create images that make you happy. Not the internet comment section critics.

  • @JacksonCheese

    I’m sure this was just a fun gag, and not intended to be “as cool as the original”.

  • Justin Sheely

    That’s awesome.

  • Fahad Jafarullah

    Not everyone can be that awesome or else we would all be awesome! :)

    Even the best one gets pissed on by someone better. What’s your point? That’s just how the world works. People don’t become better without criticism so go cry a river somewhere else “Mr. I am so effing positive”.