Photo of the Week, 104: Wintertime Construction - State Farm Insurance Addition, January 1939
This image, taken January 25, 1939, shows two workers some 7 stories above tightening bolts in the dead of winter (see the snow on the ground below?). They are hard at work building the State Farm Insurance addition at the corner of East and Jefferson streets. It was not easy, and it was not safe. One of the captions from the January 29 spread in the Sunday Pantagraph notes that the wooden planks the workers walk on "are loose and wobble under one's feet, but the workers don't mind. They ignore such trivial things. They like to ignore safety belts too, but the construction superintendent objects." The Pantagraph also noted some personal details about the men- there were 25 ironworkers, mostly married men, ranging in age from 28 to over 60. "Drink? Well, two or three of them do some, but never on the job." An additional 4 stories were added to this structure in 1945.
In the background of the image you see a view east, with the Unitarian Church on the far left and the Bloomington Club on the right. Also check out the hats these guys are wearing – they are back in style and are now called "Stormy Kromer" hats.