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(Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, Charles Rivers Collection.)

A derrick bellman, center, holding bell rope, working on the Chrysler building, 1929

Born Constantinos Kapornaros, in Mani, Greece, Charlie Rivers changed his name when he wanted a job in New York. He chose Charlie Rivers to resemble the names of the Mohawk Indians who were known for their work on the high steel of New York City's skyscrapers and bridges. Rivers, an avid amateur photographer, worked steadily through the early days of the Depression on the Chrysler and Empire State buildings.


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