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From the Archives: A window washer's view

From the Archives: A window washer's view
Oct. 28, 1977: High above the street, window washer Vince Schaefer, 55, stretches out from the end of a motorized swing stage to clean a window at the Occidental Center. (Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times)

Here are some images from the Los Angeles Times' photo archive folder labeled "windows / window washers." The first three images by Bill Varie appeared in the Nov. 25, 1977, Los Angeles Times with this information:

Before grumbling about the next time you have to wash the several dozen or so windows in your house, spare a thought for Vince Schaefer and Richard Toliver. If you work near Occidental Center in downtown Los Angeles, you've probably seen Schaefer and Toliver at work balanced seeming precariously on a swing stage high above all but the tallest of the surrounding buildings.

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The two men, along with two partners, spend all year washing Occidental Center's 6,556 windows. It takes three months to complete the 196,680 square feet of glass, and when the job is done, they begin all over again. Danger is an occupational hazard; as Schaefer says, "You make a mistake in this job and you usually don't get a second chance."

Oct. 28, 1977: Window washer Vince Schaefer leans far out to put a little muscle into job.
Oct. 28, 1977: Window washer Vince Schaefer leans far out to put a little muscle into job. (Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA)
Oct. 28, 1977: After a long morning of window washing, the workmen bring the swing stage back onto roof.
Oct. 28, 1977: After a long morning of window washing, the workmen bring the swing stage back onto roof. (Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times)
Aug. 19, 1968: Employees of American Building Maintenance Industries stretch from their rig to wash windows near the top of the new Crocker-Citizens tower in downtown Los Angeles. This photo appeared in the Sept. 1, 1968, Los Angeles Times.
Aug. 19, 1968: Employees of American Building Maintenance Industries stretch from their rig to wash windows near the top of the new Crocker-Citizens tower in downtown Los Angeles. This photo appeared in the Sept. 1, 1968, Los Angeles Times. (Ben Olender / Los Angeles Times)
March 1, 1970: A workman cleans one of the Union Bank building's 4,366 windows in the morning's wee hours. This photo appeared in the April 30, 1970, Los Angeles Times.
March 1, 1970: A workman cleans one of the Union Bank building's 4,366 windows in the morning's wee hours. This photo appeared in the April 30, 1970, Los Angeles Times. (Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times)
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