It is one of the most famous photographs ever taken. Eleven construction workers sit and eat lunch on a girder which hovers 850 feet above New York, with nothing to catch them if they fall.
Charlies C Ebbets’ Lunch Atop A Skyscraper, taken in 1932 has become iconic. It is a popular poster and has often been referenced on shows such as The Simpsons and Friends and was used as the cover for The Saw Doctor’s compilation album To Win Just Once.
What is less well known is that two of the men, pictured having lunch on that girder on the 69th floor of the GE Building, were from County Galway. At the extreme left and extreme right of the photo are Matty O’Shaughnessy and Patrick (Sonny ) Glynn, who were both from Shanaglish, near Gort in the south of the county.
Those men, along with Native American John Charles Cook/Akwesasne, a Mohawk (pictured sitting fourth from the left ), and their co-workers, are the subject of a new documentary Lón sa Spéir - Men at Lunch, which will be shown at the Galway Film Fleadh. To co-incide with the film there will be an attempt to re-create the famous photograph in Galway as well.
Lón sa Spéir - Men at Lunch will be shown on Friday July 13 at 1pm in the Town Hall Theatre. Narrated by actress Fionnulla Flanagan, and directed by Eamonn Ó Cualáin, Lón sa Spéir reveals the remarkable story behind the iconic image. For much of its 80 year history the identity of the photographer and the workers remained a mystery, but over the last few years, their names and stories have begun to emerge.
Re-create Lunch Atop A Skyscraper in Galway
To mark the world premiere of the Lón sa Spéir at the fleadh and Galway’s connection with the workers on the beam, Sónta company producing the documentary, with the support of Coen Steel, will attempt to recreate the famous picture in Eyre Square, on Tuesday July 10 between 12.30pm and 2pm.
The film-makers are seeking 11 men or women to participate in the recreating of this photograph from construction workers, actors, students, or “anyone that feels that they can fill the part”.
Those wishing to take their place on the beam for the Galway version of the image should contact Sónta directly at 095 - 33933 or at [email protected]
For tickets contact the film screening at the Town Hall call 091 - 569777. Lón sa Spéir will also be shown on TG4 in September.