Film ID:
YFA 99

MEN OF STEEL

1948

Visitor Tabs

Description

Made by amateur filmmaker Charles Chislett, this film documents the process of steel production at the Parkgate Iron and Steel Works in Rotherham.  The film was made for the Church Pastoral Aid Society and uses intertitles throughout to explain the production process.   

The film begins with exterior shots of the works before focusing on the building, machinery, and four workers.  The intertitles inform the viewer of the different phases of steel production which the filmed sequences then illustrate.  Iron ore is being mined with the use of explosives at the Crosby Mine at Scunthorpe.  The ore is then loaded onto trucks by mechanical diggers.  

Interior shots taken at the works show coke cooling down after it has been in the oven.  A worker shows various other materials which are about to be put in the furnace.  The following shots detail the formation of slag.  Workers tap the molten iron.  The intertitles liken this process to 'a private volcano' and the sparks to that which are created by scenes from November 5th.  

A shunting machine is at work.  The labourers are filmed in detail as they work in the dark interior (where shafts of daylight filter through the roof.)  The men then shape the red-hot steel into girders.  The intertitles then read, 'So the skill of those who plan and experiment, test and control, manipulate and labour, give steel to the world' and 'Its use can bring benefit to mankind --- or grief'.  There are shots of the streets of London, and a red double-decker bus is in view.  

The film ends with the words:  'Until peoples of the world look to the highest authority for guidance and leadership steel will continue to destroy where it might serve.  The Guidance and Authority are available for all who will accept them.'