Item no. 22004
New York
Occupation: Building and construction trades
Collection: Wagner Labor Archives

A derrick bellman (center, holding the bell rope), working on the Chrysler building.

Charlie Rivers (1905 - 1993) was born Constantinos Kapornaros in Mani, Greece, but changed his name when he went looking for a job as an ironworker.  He took a name to resemble those of the Mohawk Indians working on the high steel of New York City's skyscrapers and bridges.

Rivers, an amateur photographer, worked steadily through the early days of the Depression on the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings.

From the Charles Rivers Collection, NYU Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, photograph by Charles Rivers.

See also this image.

See this image in the Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives exhibit.

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Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives