Here’s a job that’s not for the acrophobic — painting the outside of the Capitol dome! In fact, this 1922 photograph from our National Photo Company Collection may bring on a bit of vertigo in our heights-sensitive readers when they realize how high up in the air this painter is suspended. If this thought hasn’t yet got to you, then just imagine the position the fearless camera operator must be in to capture the image!
As for this second image from Harris & Ewing taken during the summer of 1939, their original caption says it all: “Tarzan paints the Senate flagpole. Washington, D.C., July 11. There comes a time each year when things around Capitol Hill need a bit of fresh paint, flagpoles no exception. Here is the flagpole over the Senate Office Building getting its new paint job, curiously enough, from a steeple-jack named Tarzan–Jack Tarzan.”
- View over 300 images of the exterior and the interior of the United States Capitol Dome in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.
- Find more pictures of those with a head for heights in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog such as
steeplejacks and test pilots. What other occupations can you come up with that require a stomach tolerant of great heights?