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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Steeplejacks: 1929

Steeplejacks: 1929

Summer 1929. Washington, D.C. "Workers on building under construction." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Many unhappy returns

The comment from sthompson is on the money: this is the IRS building, and we are looking northeast across 10th Street. Both the Einstein building and the structures on the north side of the 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue -- here, the row of facades directly beneath the protruding girder -- are clearly visible in a 1922 aerial photo of the area.

Generations apart but

Nick Nolte on the left and John Carradine on the right.

Up in New York

The Upstate and Canadian Indian tribes were noted for their many high-rise open steel workers. Was this true in Washington as well?

Half of all high iron workers

wear neckties to work.

Clench & Frisson

Not the names of the architects but rather the respective sensations of my stomach and spine when I opened this image. I don't know how these guys did it - clearly, they are made of "steelier" stuff than I.

Internal Revenue Service Building

It appears that Ben Einstein Scrap Iron was at 301 10th Street (formerly 11th Street), which would make this either the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the Department of Justice Building, or the IRS Building. Based on the construction date I would guess that this is the IRS building, and that we are looking Northeast across 10th Street. I think you can make out the top of the classical facade of the Old Patent Office building (now the National Portrait Gallery) in the background, near the steeplejack's left hand.

In keeping with today's theme, it is worth noting that (if I am correct about the location) Einstein's place was torn down a few years later to make way for the Department of Justice building, now known as the Robert F. Kennedy building.

No thank you!


The tax man buildeth?

The Internal Revenue Service Building was under construction from 1928 to 1936 and there was a Ben Einstein company at 301 10th St NW.

Big Erector Set

Looks like you just kinda slap it together with a few bolts, then go back and try to make it all fit with the rivets. Don't think I'd be up for the job of the guy out there on the flying broomstick.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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