Film ID:
NEFA 8761



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ICI Billingham Film Unit cine-magazine of three industrial news items. Firstly, a record of the training of analytical laboratory assistants in the ICI Education Department. The second item follows the construction and operations for an ammonia filling station in Singapore. The third feature documents the Billingham process of capturing nitrogen.

Title: Just Billingham September 1947
Title: Commentary by John Snagge
Title: A(L)As in the Making

The film begins with lots of written calculations and arithmetic on a blackboard. Then we are in a training school classroom, where analytical laboratory assistants work behind a desk with scientific apparatus and Bunsen burners. The voice-over introduces us to Joseph Hutchinson of the Education Department, who is in charge of the school, and his assistant John Pritchard, with portrait shots of the two. Three teams of trainee laboratory assistants participate in a quiz. A short sequence of shots illustrates the studiousness of the young male laboratory assistants as they work.

Title: Billingham Abroad
Title: Ammonia Helps to Make Rubber

Arthur Finshaw of the Technical Sales Service Department and Charles Lofthouse of Commercial Works stand in front of revolving doors outside a building. They are described in the commentary as about to embark on the opening of an ammonia filling station in Singapore.

Several coastline shots of Singapore follow with children, boats, apartment blocks, mountains and hillsides.

Charles Lofthouse inspects the site and there are numerous shots of the construction work.

A tour of the city is next, with shots of children playing in a swimming pool, a tailors, a street carnival, and a snake charmer.

At ‘East Wharf’ preparations for the first tank of Billingham Ammonia are underway. There are shots of the harbour’s lifting crane, a rail wagon. Empty cylinders arrive to be filled, and to link with a journey to the rubber plantation where the ammonia is used to make rubber.

Title: The Billingham Story (3)
Title: Nitrogen is Captured

A short film about the natural availability of nitrogen and how this is scientifically combined with other elements, ammonia, hydrogen and coal at high pressure and temperature.

The voice-over defines the ‘Billingham process,’ with nitrogen taken from the air and hydrogen taken from the water, heated by coal. There are factory scenes of quenching towers, haulage wagons, coke ovens, railroads and the infrastructure of the treatment plant.

The film documents the operation in a simplified step-by-step process, decsribed by the voice-over.

Towers and vessels clean gases of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other impurities. As gases are compressed, large machines are depicted, operated by skilled technical staff overseeing every stage of the process.

Shots of the bags of fertilizers symbolise the end product.