In January 1931, Popular Science documented the death-defying process of constructing the Empire State Building, which held the title of the tallest artificial structure in the world until 1970. Today it’s eclipsed by several other skyscrapers in Manhattan—but it continues to be a marvel for both inhabitants and visitors of the city. Read on to learn more.

A scanned article from the January 1931 issue of Popular Science
From safety nets to impeccable balance, workers risked it all to put the final touches on the tower. Popular Science