• Short Summary

    Documentary about Parsons - designer of turbines and generators - good shots of work and science.

  • Description

    c. 1955

    Reel 1 Associated British Pathe presents Parsons - Genius of Power
    To commemorate the Centenary of Sir Charles A. Parsons 1854 - 1931

    L/S Exterior power station, with electrical pylons. Relay station at power station. Interior turbine room of power station. Steam fills screen. L/S "Queen Elizabeth" liner entering New York Harbour, United States of America. Statue of Liberty is visible. Aerial shot of "Queen Mary" liner. Three Royal Navy ships and Royal Yacht. M/S British battleship - HMS Vanguard. Interior engine room. Man opens valve. Engine room, man inspects dials. Steam fills the screen.

    The original steam Turbine invented by Parsons. Still of Charles Parsons. Shots of Birr Castle, Southern Ireland (Eire, Republic of Ireland). Shots of Trinity College, Dublin. St. John's College, Cambridge. Track over picture of 19th century Newcastle Upon Tyne. C/U hands examining models of various inventions. Shots of Steam reciprocating engine working. C/U hand opens pages of notebook. C/U entry in patents book for one of Parsons' inventions. Pages in notebook. Early dynamo working. Early steam engine. C/U piston moving.

    C/U various parts of steam engine. C/U cover of book entitled "Steam - Its Generation and Use". C/U Hero's Aerophile - very strange device invented by the ancient Greek thinker Hero. C/U notebooks. Parsons' first Turbo dynamo. C/U book. Pages turn. Print of Heaton Works, Newcastle Upon Tyne. C/U pages of Parsons' first catalogue. Model of condensing turbo generator. Stills of various installations. C/U books and papers. C/U hand using pencil to sketch aerofoil blade shape. C/U diagrams. Stills of generators. Moving footage of various generators in power stations. C/U dial gauge. Stills of generators around the world. Exterior power station. Interior generating room. Stills of more generators. Model of generator. Pull out from power station along power cables hung from pylons.

    Man pulling model of ships hull through water with fishing rod. C/U radial flow marine turbine (boat engine to the layman). C/U propellor on model ship. Man watching model propellor being tested. C/U model propellor. C/U parts of turbine. C/U model of ship called 'Turbinia" with lots of propellors. Still of Turbinia at speed on water. C/U notebooks and results of tests. C/U newspaper page - 'A City of Ships'. C/U sub headline 'Fastest Thing Afloat'. Still of Turbinia cutting through waves in front of naval ships.

    C/U headline 'To-day's Launch By The King - Our Largest Battleship - Dreadnought's Enormous Gun Power'. Further headlines about ships equipped with turbines. M/S 'Mauretania' liner. Pull out on still from Turbinia to Mauretania. Still of reduction gearing system. Still of ship. C/U geared reduction turbine. M/S liner 'Empress of Britain'. C/U hand moves control on ship's bridge from Finished with engines to Full. C/U massive propellor shaft on ship. Waves parting at bow of ship. C/U dial showing knots - ship is going fast. Engine room. Royal Naval ships. High angle shot of liner 'Queen Elizabeth'.

    Man making mirror disc for use in searchlights. Machine grinds the mirror reflectors. Machine grinds massive mirrored surfaces. Men clean reflectors before one is placed in a silvering bath. Man washes off remains of bath from mirror. Man cleaning large circular and concave mirror (odd shot). Camera moves across sequence of mirrors. Searchlight projecting beam into the night sky.

    Giant telescope being built in workshop. (Sir Charles Parsons bought out a firm of astronomical instrument manufacturers). Framework of observatory dome (destined for Toronto according to a sign on it). Modern telescope being built. Large piece of glass being ground. Man pouring liquid into machine to lubricate the grinding process. Man overseeing machine grinding process. C/U man inspects edge of glass. C/U edges of glass as it is ground.

    Research technician operating photographic zenith tube telescope. Technician at instrument panel. Technician operating telescope. Still - Charles Parsons as a child with his early version of a steam helicopter. Man launching model plane. C/U plane. C/U steam driven toy called 'The Spider'. Demonstration of Auxetaphone - machine for amplifying sound from gramophone. C/U needle. C/U parts of the machine taken apart. The machine in use.

    C/U diagrams in paper on artificial production of diamonds. C/U hands holding various medals award to Parsons during his illustrious career. Casket of the freedom of the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Memorial hall at Newcastle works. Sculptured plaque commemorating Parsons. Painting of Parsons. Parsons memorial library in London. C/U bust of Parsons above door of library. Stained glass window commemorating his achievements in Westminster Abbey.

    Notes: Rather overly long but informative documentary about the life and works of Sir Charles Parsons, inventor and engineer. Does contain some nice shots of technicians at work. Film also known as Parsons Turbines.

    Reel 1 was originally reels 1 and 2. Paperwork includes Shot lists, letters and notes on Parsons.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:26:42:00 / 01:43:00:00

Comments (1)

  1. jonathan scott james says

    now i see that the whittle jet engine was not the first and the junkers jumo 004 was not the first linear flow turbine. this means that had this man been properly endowed in 1890, t he first aircraft would have been a coal fired steam turbine. the turbinia was an amazing concept

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