Three weeks ago, the Library of Congress released more than 40 videos of life in New York City in the early 1900s, including this one that's like a semi-scripted reality show. Who knew The City had such storied lineage!
This 11-minute clip from 1906 really has everything: a compelling story, crazy antics, and men waving at the camera while being lowered from a building on a girder. The movie shows a crew constructing a skyscraper, but simply watching the intense and dangerous labor isn't enough. They spice up the real footage with a staged storyline about "Dago Pete" starting a fight with a coworker, getting fired, stealing from the site, and framing the foreman who fired him for the offense. And we thought the concept of "semi-reality" didn't come along for another 100 years or so. Not only are we still living in their buildings, we're repurposing their entertainment as well. The only difference is Heidi and Spencer don't have the guts to get into a fake fight on the ledge of an unfinished hundred-story building. They really don't make them like they used to!