Albert Swanson-Scaffolding Photographs
Albert Swanson-Albert Swanson, a 20-year-old mold caster from Sweden, was killed in a strange accident. A St. Paul Globe headline summarized, “Passing Wagon Drives Over Rope Used to Hoist Material, and Scaffolding, on Which Men Stood, Falls.” Swanson and fellow worker Frank Thiery both plunged forty feet. Swanson collided with timbers and died before hitting the ground. But Thiery landed in a pile of sand and miraculously got away with only a broken leg. He checked himself out of the hospital and went home that night.
The following photographs are from the New York Historical Society, Cass Gilbert Papers.
The following photographs show the exact spot where this accident occured:
Image 1-this photograph shows the side of the building where the scaffolding was standing. This shot was taken earlier on the same day as the accident, when the scaffolding was still in place.
Image 2-this is a close up photo that has an "X" marked on it to indicated the exact spot where Swanson and Thiery were standing when the scaffolding was suddenly pulled down. The X in the photograph was added by George Carsley, an assistant of Cass Gilbert's. The pulley, connected to the ropethat pulled down the platform, is visible.
Image 3-this is a photograph of the backside of the photograph. It says the following:
- "X 2 men Swanson + Pherry [sic],"
- "fell from scaffold at this point,"
- "the same afternoon this was taken,"
- "Swanson was killed."