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Silent Film: The Latest Architecture and News

Rare Footage Reflects the Complications of Construction of Early Skyscrapers

This silent film, ‘The Skyscrapers of New York’ bears rare footage of the construction of a skyscraper from over one hundred years ago, shared by the Library of Congress as part of their ‘Early Films of New York’ collection. The first scenes include real work crews and the early construction methods that made the first skyscrapers possible; the steel framework the men can be seen clinging onto was a technical innovation that provided the strength and stability for buildings to be built over twenty floors high. It is startling to imagine their lack of concern for health and safety as the men are pictured dangling off a crane line in the sky.