• Short Summary

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

  • Description

    c. 1955

    Reel 2

    Plaque on wall - "1953 Upon the site now occupied by this building the Honourable Charles A. Parsons Established the original Heaton Works in 1889". Exterior Heaton Works (near Newcastle on Tyne). Interior of lobby / reception area of Heaton Works. People come into work. People using lifts and very unsafe looking system of continuous moving (open) lifts (also know as 'paternosters'). Camera goes up in one of these open lifts to show various floors of building. C/U sign on door - "To material test & mechanical research". C/U sign 'Electrical Research Laboratory' on door.

    C/U sign on door - 'Gas Turbine Research'. C/U sign on door - 'To physics applied mechanics, metallurgy & chemical laboratories'. C/U sign on door - 'Mechanical Drawing office'. L/S large drawing office with lots of people working at drawing boards. Two men pick up plans and walk forward to inspect model of turbine parts. High angle shot of pattern shop. Men work on various models of machinery. Men sanding and planing wooden models of turbine parts. Circular saw use to cut plank. Man uses machine router to cut out piece of wood. The man is wearing a safety mask.

    Three men putting together wooden model of large turbine part for use in the iron foundry. They are working in a pit. They are fitting pieces of a mould together. A large crucible of molten metal is moved. Sparks fly into the air as some of the metal hits the floor. Man blows whistle (Sound On Film). The large crucible or ladle is moved into place above the mould. Two men turn wheel to lower angle of ladle. The molten metal pours out of the ladle into the mould (good shots). Several ladles are being used to fill the mould. Various C/U s of the men working and metal going into the mould. The casting is lifted out of the pit on chains.

    Man standing at metal plate folding machine at Parsons' Heaton works. Man moving levers on machine. Metal folding machine starts to work. C/U metal bending in machine. Man moving levers. High angle shot man removing metal from machine. He measures the bent section with a tape measure. Man using coal powered 'oxy cutting device'.

    C/U face of man as he concentrates on work. Pan down from template to gas cutting device melting through metal. Man using metal grinding machine. Sparks fly off, thankfully he is wearing safety goggles. Man crouched on the top of a metal pipe uses an oxyacetylene cutter. Men welding large metal structures. They are parts for very large generators. High angle shot of stator-conductor (circular metal structure). Men work inside it. C/U man drilling into structure. Men insert metal into stator. C/U hands pushing metal rod.

    Massive stator hung from chains and lowered into coating pit. Man looks up and gesticulates to the men lowering the structure. C/U part of the stator as it is lifted out of the vacuum tank. Stator being lifted. Men watch the process closely. The component is lifted by a heavy overhead crane.

    Rotors being wound. C/U man using hammer to knock winding into place. Exterior power station - large transformers. Transformer section. Electrical pylon. People working in transformer winding shop. C/U of various people at work. High angle shot of transformer shop. Overhead crane moves along length of large transformer shop. Men building up transformer cores. Transformers clamped into place. Woman working on insulation. Three women working on insulation assembly. Impulse test plant. (very odd pieces of metal and ceramic weird shapes). Technicians looking at dials. Machine makes artificial lightening to test windings.

    Strip blading mill in operation at C. A. Parsons' Heaton works. This machine bends strips of metal. C/U of operator working machine. Men using machines on metal blade. C/U one machine which cuts strips from metal, a thin curled bit of metal falls away. Two men using blading machine which shapes red hot pieces of metal. Various C/U s as the metal is shaped and moved.

    High angle shot of metal working room. Great shot along workshop. Lots of men working at lathes. Heavy machine shop making parts of turbines. Shots of a vertical turning and boring machine. C/U machine tools at work. Massive machine at work. Man looking over work of large lathe. Massive boring machine. C/U end of drill / boring bit (weird shot). C/U drill bit as is goes into metal. Men working on transformers. Various milling machines. C/U operator.

    Rotor balancing chamber for testing running of transformers. Overhead crane moves parts in the assembly or erecting shop. Turbine rotor blades. Blades placed on turbine. Grinding machines - C/U of machine and C/U of operator. Assembly of turbine and rotors. Man gesticulates as the part is lowered. Men putting together turbines. Men looking over gas turbine. The turbine has the Parsons name embossed upon it.

    Apprentice training workshop. Lots of boys doing metal work. Instructor showing boys the use a metal working lathe. C/U young man working on machine. Engineering apprentices watching machines and using tools. Boys working to lecture theatre. Lecturers giving lectures about the conversion on heat energy into mechanical energy. Pan across lecture theatre. Lecturer talking. Boys watching lecture.

    Technician in chemical research laboratory. He looks down a microscope. Man overlooks instrument panel. Men working on various testing devices. Man looks at dial of metre as it goes up. Metal tested to the point of destruction. Woman on microscopic testing machine. She alters the focus while looking into the eye piece. Chemical laboratory, men work at benches with bottles of chemicals. Woman scientist concentrates as she pours chemical into glass receptacle through filter paper.

    Electrical laboratory. Hand operates testing machine. Man makes notes of results of test. Hand operates controls of testing machine. Dial shows results. Machine prints out results onto piece of paper.

    Model of C. A. Parsons' first turbo-dynamo. Large turbine lifted above workshop (Beautiful shot). Large machine leaving shed on trailer. Parsons sign hangs from the side. Plaque of Parsons "the Genius of Power".

    Parsons - Genius of Power was made by the Pathe Documentary Unit for C.A. Parsons & Co. Ltd.
    Director ...Douglas Clarke, Cameraman ..Reg W. Cavender, Editor ...A. Milner-Gardner, Sound ... W.S. Bland George Newberry, Music composed by Edward Williams, Conducted by Marcus Dods, Produced by Howard Thomas.

    Notes: Rather overly long but informative documentary about the life and works of Sir Charles Parsons, inventor and engineer. Follows the work of the company after he stopped being involved. Does contain some nice shots of technicians and scientists at work. Film also known as Parsons Turbines.
    Reel 2 was originally reels 3 and 4. 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:
    01:43:14:00 / 01:59:53:00

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