Sandhogs playing a game of "21" during their break

In 1939 Carl Mydans was asked to cover the construction project of the Midtown Tunnel in New York City for LIFE magazine (April 3, 1939). He not only photographed the workers, or "sandhogs" at work, but also captured images of them in their downtime, whether before or after their shifts.
When the sandhogs were not working down in the "hole," they spent their time up in the "hog house." This building provided a warm environment for the laborers to enjoy some hot coffee and playing cards during the break between shifts. Each shift had a game that started the day. By pay day, sandhogs would sometimes lose a week's wages.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Mydans, Carl
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 11 in x 14 in; 27.94 cm x 35.56 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Carl Mydans
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Carl Mydans
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Mydans, Carl. Carl Mydans, Photojournalist

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