12 Vintage Work at Height Photos That Will Make Your Heart Race


A word of warning to the acrophobic; your heart will race and your palms will sweat. But for those who want to start the day with some excitement, look no further.

Work at Height has been around ever since we started building up, but the past certainly wasn’t what it is today. Equipment and protocol have progressed dramatically over the past few centuries.

Take a step back in time with our Vintage Photo Gallery to see Work at Height from the late 19th century to the present.

A newspaper illustration of workers “lashing the stays” atop the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, 1883.

(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia)


An illustration of the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France 1887.

(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia)


U.S. Army Corps Engineers working atop the Panama Canal in 1912.

(Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia)


Inspecting the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia in the 1920’s.

(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia)

Was there really no other way to go up? circa 1923


Rope workers carving out Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, 1925.

(Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia)

empire_state_by_hine (1)A worker atop the Empire State Building, New York City 1930. At least he’s using a rope.

(Photo Credit: Giz Images)

275003395_e4485b560e_bThere is perhaps no better-documented example of dangerous work at height than the construction of the Empire State Building in the early 1930’s. 

Here, an “old-timer” performs structural work on a corner with no fall protection in sight. 

(Photo Courtesy: Flickr)

signaling the hookmanA worker atop the Empire State Building “signaling the hookman” in New York City, 1931. 

(Photo Courtesy: New York Public Library)

nap-skyscraperWorkers relax as a part of the famous ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ photo series in New York City, 1932.

(Photo Credit: Reddit.com)

24E8947600000578-2920453-image-a-32_1421869414553We’d feel a lot better waving back if he was wearing a harness!

(Photo Courtesy: Daily Mail UK)


High Scalers at the Hoover Dam construction site above the Colorado River in Black Canyon, Nevada 1932.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia)


Rope access team Abseilon USA takes CMC Rescue up close and personal while servicing the Grand Canyon Skywalk, an engineering marvel and the ultimate experience in work at height.

(Photo Credit: CMC Rescue)

In 2015, governmental organization OSHA claims this is one of the safest and exciting jobs in the industry. What will Work at Height look like another 130 years from now?