General and detailed views of the Empire State Building under construction showing workers performing various tasks including positioning, welding and riveting steel, hoisting materials and supplies, and operating and repairing machinery. Also birds-eye views of midtown Manhattan showing other buildings under construction. 6 of 46 items printed later from original negatives in the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House and stamped "George Eastman House, Inc. Photograph". Titles, dates, photographer's credits, subject designations and negative numbers inscribed in pencil and/or ink, verso; Also recto on some items below image and/or on image lower right. Date stamps verso on some items.
Acquisition: Romana Javitz Collection, Transferred from the Picture Collection 1991
Statement of responsibility: L. W. Hine.
Biographical/historical: Photographs by the pioneering social photographer Lewis W. Hine (1874-1940) came to the Library primarily in two ways. Romana Javitz, head of the Library's Picture Collection, began to solicit gifts and buy prints from Hine himself shortly after he exhibited his photographs of the Empire State Building in 1931. Then, in 1949, the Russell Sage Foundation transferred to the Library a series of prints it had commissioned from Hine for its library. The foundation had asked Hine in his final years to create a systematic, definitive collection of his life work. The commission was only partly completed; Hine mounted the earliest series uniformly with typed captions on dark gray board; and chose photos for the later series, but died in 1940 before preparing the latter group for library use. Mounting and titling was completed in the 1960s by the staff of what is now the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy. These photographs were transferred in the late 1980s to the Photography Collection of the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.