Sandhogs playing a game of "21" during their break

Sandhogs playing a game of "21" during their break

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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
place made
United States: New York, New York City
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 11 in x 14 in; 27.94 cm x 35.56 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Work and Industry: Photographic History
Carl Mydans
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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