• Sweden's news in English
 

'My dad is in famous NY skyscraper pic': Swede

Published: 07 Jan 2013 10:24 GMT+01:00

“I remember when dad and I went for a walk in the forest in the 1970s and he mentioned this amazing picture that was taken when he was building a skyscraper, and how much he wanted to see it,” Britt-Marie Johansson Duwfa told local newspaper Hallands-Posten.

She thinks her father, John Johansson, who went to the US to work but later came home to western Sweden and married, is seated sixth from the left in the famous image “Lunch atop a Skyscraper”, which has been turned into posters and post cards, adorning knickknacks across the world.

“I really wish I’d tried to find it,” said his retired librarian daughter.

DOCUMENTARY FILM MAKER SAYS SWEDISH CLAIM IS PLAUSIBLE

'They're the unknowns': skyscraper pic expert

Her father smoked, as does the man about to open his lunch box in the image. A slideshow of pictures from Johansson's life does reveal his resemblance to the man in the picture.

SEE A CLIP FROM THE DOCUMENTARY "MEN AT LUNCH"

When the family discussed the image at a recent family gathering, another relative said he was convinced that the man next to Johansson was another local resident, Albin Svensson.

Hallands-Posten notes that Svensson was slightly cross-eyed, but it is hard to tell if the man seated fifth from the left in the image suffers from the same condition as he is glancing down at his neighbour.

The image was taken by the Rockefeller Centre in midtown Manhattan. Behind the men, the rooftops of New York stretch towards Central Park. The Hudson River is visible in the far distance.

Corbis, which now owns the rights to the picture, still credits the photograph to ‘Anonymous’, although it is widely believed that Charles C. Ebbets took the picture.

There have been many attempts to identify the men, and many more claims to positive identifications than there are workers in the pictures.

Irish filmmaker Seán Ó Cualáin has tried to find out who the men are and chronicled his work in the documentary film "Men at lunch".

"We have no idea who the two men you identified are," he told Hallands-Posten in an email.

"Steel workers were often Irish, Native Americans, Scandinavians and Newfoundlanders, so a Swedish claim is credible".

When contacted by The Local, Johansson Duwfa said the family was no longer granting interviews about the photograph.

TT/The Local/at

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

12:10 January 7, 2013 by jamesobrien
When I saw this I was reminded of the other Swedish involvement in a world famous building - the magnificent tiles of the Sydney Opera House http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/about/house_history/1959_1965.aspx
13:29 January 7, 2013 by Flutterbye
Just looking at the men in that picture makes my stomach churn.
14:23 January 7, 2013 by Rishonim
That picture of one of my favorite and it is probably one of the most recognized all over the world along with Robert Doisneau famous pict with the couple kissing.
18:17 January 7, 2013 by wxman
Reminds me of my grandfather who emmigrated to the US in 1919 at the age of 18 years. He immediately got on a train in New York headed for the Swedish community on Chicago's Northside known as Andersonville. He became a construction laborer and eventually a forman on construction of such skyscrapers all over the country, but primarily in Chicago. These were tough guys.
18:17 January 11, 2013 by PNAPortugal
I believe that you may find out a little more about this. The picture was featured in a Vanity Fair article in the late 90's.

Also, American Bridge Company, who keeps records from their works since it was founded in 1900, and has built most of NY skyscrapers has a museum at their HQ in Coraopolis, with all the records of their jobs. I truly cannot remember if this was one of their construction jobs or not, (although we used to keep it at one of our construction sites at the HSE Department at ABC Portugal) but they could provide that information, and, if it was an ABC job, it is very well possible that you can find out quite a lot about the job itself and the employees. Their records are impecable!

Here is the link to their Wikipedia page, where all contacts can be found: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:American_bridge_logo.png
01:32 January 12, 2013 by FatherJon
However there is another story. Recently I read that those New York skyscraper pics were all posed in the first type of superimposition of images for effect. Workers were paid to sit on the steel beams in a studio with the pic later being transposed onto a photo of the skyline.
Today's headlines
Wallström: Nemtsov killing 'an execution'
The body of Boris Nemtsov on a bridge near the Kremlin. Photo: Pavel Golovkin/AP

Wallström: Nemtsov killing 'an execution'

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has described the killing of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov of further evidence of "Putin's reign of terror with regards to security, human rights and democracy". READ  

Malmö school 'too dangerous' for students
Photo: TT

Malmö school 'too dangerous' for students

A secondary school in Malmö has been closed after the teachers' union declared that it is too dangerous a place for students and teachers to attend due to widespread violence and criminality. READ  

Measles outbreak spreads to Sweden
MMR vaccine. File photo: Eric Risberg/AP

Measles outbreak spreads to Sweden

Sweden has recorded its first case of measles linked to the recent massive outbreak across Europe with healthcare services responding with calls for extra vigilance. READ  

Sweden's Ericsson sues Apple in patent spat
Photo: TT

Sweden's Ericsson sues Apple in patent spat

Swedish telecoms group Ericsson announced Friday a lawsuit against US tech giant Apple claiming that its technology was used in iPhones and other wireless devices despite a lapsed licencing agreement. READ  

IN PICTURES: Swedes in 'ring of peace' protest
Photo: TT

IN PICTURES: Swedes in 'ring of peace' protest

Up to a 1000 Swedes turned out to form a human shield around Stockholm's synagogue on Friday as a protest against extremism. Here are some images from the event. READ  

Swedes in 'ring of peace' synagogue protest
Photo: TT

Swedes in 'ring of peace' synagogue protest

A human shield of up to a 1000 Swedes staged a protest against extremism outside the Stockholm synagogue Friday in response to the Copenhagen shootings earlier this month in which two people died. READ  

Swedes to form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
A ring of peace around a synagogue in Oslo. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/NTB scanpix/TT

Swedes to form 'ring of peace' at synagogue

UPDATED: Hundreds of young Swedes were set to form a 'ring of peace' around a synagogue in Stockholm on Friday afternoon, in a show of solidarity two weeks after Jews were among those targeted in a pair of deadly shootings in Copenhagen. READ  

Sweden raps 'brutal' Assyrian abductions
Assyrians citizens during a sit-in for abducted Christians in Beirut, Lebanon on Thursday. Photo: TT

Sweden raps 'brutal' Assyrian abductions

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has slammed the abduction of Christians in Syria earlier this week and pledged to keep supporting communities affected by the ongoing fighting in the Middle East. READ  

Escalator return stalled in Swedish capital
Commuters using some of the stationary escalators in Stockholm. Photo: TT

Escalator return stalled in Swedish capital

Commuters in Stockholm are set for more frustration next week, with 39 escalators set to remain switched off at some of the city's busiest underground stations, following an accident a fortnight ago. READ  

Copenhagen shootings
Third arrest over fatal Danish terror shootings
The window of the Copenhagen cultural centre where one man was shot. Photo: TT

Third arrest over fatal Danish terror shootings

A man has been arrested for "complicity" in the Copenhagen shootings that killed two people earlier this month, with the Swedish artist Lars Vilks among the presumed targets of the attacks. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Super cute sloth twins charm visitors to Swedish zoo
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
Lifestyle
Meet Sweden's first woman chef to win a Michelin star
Business & Money
Ten Swedish start-ups you haven't heard of (yet)
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: February 26th - March 5th
Blog updates

27 February

Editor’s blog, February 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Our most read story this week got picked up by global media from Al Jazeera to..." READ »

 

18 February

The mysterious -s, part 2 (The Swedish Teacher) »

"-s expressing “each other” (reciprocal verbs) You have most likely used this form of the verbs..." READ »

 
 
 
Accelerated for Ice Music
What is Bob Dylan's guitarist doing in northern Sweden?
Features
How well do you know Sweden's top celebrity couples?
Business & Money
Are company boards 'too white' in Sweden?
Gallery
People-watching: February 25th
Technology
Sweden is dubbed second most 'digital' nation in European Union
National
Why more Swedes want a sex change
National
The return of Sweden's Ace of Base
National
Why has Julian Assange's case been going on for so long?
National
'21' or 'IS'? Swedish police confuse birthday with Islamist extremism
National
Spring has sprung in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Ängelholm
National
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
National
Is Sweden home to the world's oldest living cat?
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The life and career of Fredrik Reinfeldt
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Estelle through the years
National
Why are Swedish Jews worried?
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
Gallery
People-watching: February 19th-22nd
National
'Racist' bird names banned in Sweden
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Nobel prize to go under hammer
National
Swede named 'Fanny' banned from getting UK loyalty card
National
Spotlight on the Swedes that could be funding Islamists
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Gallery
People-watching: February 18th
National
Is a chocolate crime wave sweeping across Sweden?
National
What we know about the Copenhagen shootings suspect
National
Danish Ambassador: 'We'll live our lives the way we always have'
National
What does this '90s pop act have to do with a former minister?
Lifestyle
How to embrace Sweden's creamy semla bun tradition
National
Did this Swedish hotel really refuse a gay couple?
National
Why are so many escalators down on Stockholm's Metro?
Gallery
Property of the week: Kungsbacka
National
Can Zlatan's tattoo stunt help end world hunger?
Gallery
People-watching: February 14th
Lars Vilks
National
Who exactly is controversial Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks?
Lifestyle
VIDEO: How to tackle Sweden's bizarre mating rituals
Sponsored Article
'Immigration is critical' for Stockholm’s future
Lifestyle
How to make traditional Swedish blackberry pie
National
What the weak krona means for expats and visitors to Sweden
National
What's in a Swedish meatball?
National
Spotlight on 32 Swedish Isis fighters killed in Syria and Iraq
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

980
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se