Film ID: YFA 5945 Video of YFA_5945 Men of Iron MEN OF IRON c.1960 Visitor TabsDescription This is one of many films made by amateur filmmaker John (Jack) E Dyson of Leeds. This is a documentary showing the old process of making an iron piece of machinery using a handmade mould. The film mostly filmed in close to mid shot focusing on the equipment and process rather than the workers. A voiceover accompanies the film explaining each stage of the process. There is also a musical soundtrack taken in part from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The film was made in the Frederick Dyson & Sons Ltd., Steander Foundry in Leeds. The foundry was located on Steander Lane, off East Street, and the foundry’s Director was Dyson’s brother Fredrick who was also a local filmmaker. The film begins in the foundry with pouring molten metal from the furnace into containers. This is followed by a long piece of text, part of which reads, “This film is intended to show the basic steps in the art of preparing a mould and the resulting casting in iron, and does not concern itself with modern developments in the iron foundry today…” Title – Lighting by Northern Stage Electronics The process starts with a pattern for a metal part going into a wooden casting case in three parts. It is secured in with bedding sand hammered in tightly to the correct pressure. This is done in three stages, with lifting irons inserted into the box. The pig iron is then loaded into the furnace. The pattern is removed, leaving the mould with an inlet slot to allow the molten metal to be poured in. The case of the mould is then made in two halves, joined together and coated with a solution to produce a smooth finish. The molten metal is poured in. Meanwhile the residue of hot coke and slag is removed, and the furnace is cleaned. Having cooled overnight, the sand is removed from the mould case to reveal the cast. This is then taken to the fettling bench to remove any excess sand and metal. Finally it is cleaned with a grinding disc and is ready for use. Title – The End Context This detailed short film made in Leeds presents a thorough step-by-step guide to the process of sand casting using an iron mould. The narrator calmly talks through the artistry behind the process as workers carefully and skilfully perform the necessary labour. The camera remains tight to the action throughout and marvels over the intricacies of the trade. Although he was not the director of this particular film, the director of the Steander foundry, Frederick Dyson, was an avid amateur filmmaker. Frederick began making films in the 1920s and many rolls of film were still stored in his house upon his death in 1965. Sand casting is one of the simplest and most popular forms of metal casting in the world. It has been in use for centuries and experts believe that it originated in ancient China over three thousand years ago.