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For more than a century, ironworkers descended from the Mohawk Indians of Quebec have helped create New York City’s iconic skyline, guiding ribbons of metal into the steel skeletons that form the backbone of the city. In the tradition of their fathers and grandfathers, a new generation of Mohawk iron workers now descend upon the World Trade Center site, helping shape the most distinct feature of Lower Manhattan—the same iconic structure their fathers and grandfathers helped erect 40 years ago and later dismantled after it was destroyed in 2001.

Driving some 360 miles south to New York from the Kahnawake reserve near Quebec, these men work—just as their fathers did—in the city during the week and spend time with their families on the weekends.

One year ago, around the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, photographer Melissa Cacciola began documenting some of these workers—not an easy task given that the roughly 200 Mohawks (of more than 2,000 iron workers on site) are working at a frantic pace, helping One World Trade Center to rise a floor a week.

Cacciola, a photographer with a background in chemistry and historic preservation, is one of few photographers who work exclusively with tintypes, images recorded by a large-format camera on sheets of tin coated with photosensitive chemicals. Having previously photographed members of the armed-forces for her War and Peace series, Cacciola looked to document those continuing to help the city move past the shadow of tragedy.

“It seemed like a real New York thing,” she told TIME. “And it made sense as the next chapter in the post-9/11 landscape. Rebuilding is part of that story.”

Just as towers like the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center mark the height of America’s skyscraper architecture, tintype photographs are inherently American. Tintype developed in the 1850s as early American photographers looked for alternatives to the expensive and finicky glass-plate processes popular in Europe. Recycled tin was a readily available resource in the new nation—less than 100 years old—and so the tintype grew in popularity, earning its place in American photographic identity. Even Abraham Lincoln’s campaign pins contained an inlaid tintype portrait of the candidate.

“You don’t find tintypes on other continents,” Cacciola said.

Slightly blurry and sepia-toned, Cacciola’s portraits feel timeless, save for the occasional modern stickers on her subjects’ hardhats. Each portrait focuses tightly on the men’s strong facial features.

The 30 tintypes in the series are each made from bulk sheets of tin, although Cacciola has also used recycled biscuit jars in prior tintype projects. Coated first with a black lacquer and then a layer of collodion emulsion to make them light sensitive, the plates are dipped in a silver bath immediately before exposure to form silver iodide—a step that bonds actual particles of silver to the emulsion. Nothing could be more fitting for men working with steel to be photographed on metal.

In the tradition of 19th-century photography, Cacciola’s process is slower than today’s digital systems. But the finished plates are more than simple portraits; rather, they hold their own weight as tangible objects. Just as histories often reflect the blemishes of times past, Cacciola’s tintypes are fragile, containing marks and slight imperfect artifacts that reflect the medium’s limitations. Working by hand rather than machine, each portrait records the artist’s intentions as much as her subject’s.

“These tintypes are so much a part of me,” she says. “Like the fact that you get partial fingerprints or artifacts from the way I’m pouring collodion on the plate—it’s all human. The way silver and light interact in this chemical reaction is a testament to the Mohawk iron workers and this early [photographic] process—it’s unparalleled in terms of portraiture.”

Melissa Cacciola is a New York-based tintype photographer.

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September marked ten years since the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The fighting continued in Libya as the rebels closed in on Gaddafi strongholds and Palestinian President Abbas made a bid for statehood recognition at the U.N. This selection of our top photos of the month includes these news stories alongside the ongoing Dale Farm case, New York fashion week and a giant vegetable contest. WARNING: Graphic content

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New Yorkers remember the victims of Sept. 11, plus a community mourns a high school basketball star and Union Square gets a new sculpture. A look at the week’s best images from around Greater New York.


Police officers from the United Kingdom marched in formation across the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday, Sept. 11. The group walked from downtown Brooklyn for the memorial ceremony at Ground Zero. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)


Children and young adults took part in a citizenship ceremony at Citi Field before the Mets game on Wednesday. (Mustafah Abdulaziz for The Wall Street Journal)


A 37-year-old Verizon worker was electrocuted Wednesday morning in Brooklyn as he worked on lines connected to a utility pole, officials said. Here, the scene at the corner of Christopher Avenue and New Lots Avenue. (Andrew Hinderaker for The Wall Street Journal)


A woman lit a candle at a memorial at the entrance to the Grant Houses complex in Manhattan on Monday, following the murder of 18-year-old high school basketball standout Tayshana Murphy. Ms. Murphy was shot in the hallway of the public-housing project on Sunday. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)


A selection of whiskeys are on display at Whiskey Park, at 100 Central Park South in New York, N.Y. (Ramsay de Give for The Wall Street Journal)


One hundred dancers gathered around the Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center on Sunday morning to perform ‘The Table of Silence Project,’ a public tribute to the events of 9/11. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)


David Shih and Christine Toy Johnson rehearsed a scene from ‘Crane Story’ at the Cherry Lane Theatre. (Daniella Zalcman for The Wall Street Journal)


Grilled Octopus, organic lentils and potatoes at Bocca East, 1496 Second Ave. at 78th Street. (Nick Brandreth for The Wall Street Journal)


The members of Squad One in Brooklyn’s Park Slope assembled to observe a moment of silence at 9:45am Sunday. The company lost 12 firefighters ten years ago at the World Trade Center. (Daniella Zalcman for The Wall Street Journal)


A demonstration kiosk was set up on Wednesday in a pedestrian plaza south of Madison Square Park for a news conference announcing a bicycle-sharing program New York City plans to launch next year. (Mustafah Abdulaziz for The Wall Street Journal)


A 26-foot tall bronze sculpture, ‘Elefrandret,’ by artist Miquel Barceló was installed in Union Square in Manhattan. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)


Members of the press stood in the newly opened Memorial Plaza at Ground Zero during the opening of the National September 11 Memorial on Monday. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)


Leigh Keno, the host of the popular television show, ‘Antiques Roadshow,’ inspected a chair of Wall Street Journal columnist Ralph Gardner at his home on the Upper East Side. (Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal)


Lifeguard Randy Dodd, center, carried a memorial wreath out to sea during a memorial service at Long Beach, Long Island, Sunday. Mr. Dodd and about 300 other surfers held a ceremony in the water, forming a circle and joining hands. Each surfer wore an armband with the name of a Sept. 11 first responder from Long Island. (Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal)


Inside of the offices and manufacturing floor of the Lee Spring company, a tenant in the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park (Rob Bennett for The Wall Street Journal)


Third-grade teacher Tavares Bussey read out loud to his students during the first day of the school year at Brennan-Rogers, a K-8 public school in New Haven, Conn., on Sept. 1. (Jesse Neider for The Wall Street Journal)


Maggie Jewell, 6, created a makeshift memorial to her second cousin, Joseph G. Hunter, a firefighter who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2011, during a memorial service on the tenth anniversary of attacks at Lido Beach on Long Island on Sunday. (Claudio Papapietro for The Wall Street Journal)

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This week; A man visits the graveside of his son—killed by Gaddafi loyalists—in Tripoli, three thousand flags commemorate the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, a plane flies through the “Tribute in Lights” in lower Manhattan. gas pipeline explosion in Nairobi, gunmen open fire on a school bus in Pakistan, Israeli embassy attack in Cairo, Brazilian forest fires, Damien Hirst’s sculpture Legend, New York fashion week, Novak Djokovic wins the U.S. Open, and the painted “Tiger Men” of India’s “Pulikali” Tiger Dance festival.

See last week’s Best Pictures of the Week.

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Americans remembered the horror of September 11, 2001, and the nearly 3,000 people who died in the hijacked plane attacks on New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Read the full story here and for related coverage click here.

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TIME contract photographer Marco Grob shares an intimate look into the making of the portraits and oral history series that comprise Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience.  The project reveals the astonishing testimonies from over 40 men and women including George W. Bush, Tom Brokaw, General David Petraeus, Valerie Plame Wilson, Black Hawk helicopter pilot Tammy Duckworth, as well as the heroic first responders to Ground Zero. After looking into one of America’s greatest tragedies, Grob now shares his side of the story, and what it was like to be on the other side of the lens.

To visit TIME’s Beyond 9/11: A Portrait of Resilience, a project that chronicles 9/11 and its aftermath, click here. TIME: VOICES OF 9/11, a full length film of Grob’s work will be screened at Film Forum, located at 209 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10014. For more information go to their website by clicking here.

See more of Marco Grob’s work by clicking here.

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Originally from Ohio, Shannon Stapleton grew up in the Midwest in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio State in 1991 with an advertising degree. As a 24-year-old freshman, Shannon took photojournalism classes at Ohio University. He was always deeply enthralled and drawn to New York City and moved there some 16 years ago. Since then, he covered the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the financial crisis, gang violence, a heat wave and New York fashion week. In the series below, Shannon recounts his experiences covering the city that never sleeps over the past 10 years.

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