Star Item
  • Description

    A promotional film made by British Insulated Cables Ltd. c 1932

    Reel 5 Section showing the erection of a typical tower on the Central Scottish Grid Scheme. We see the foundations being prepared. A metal girder is lowered into the ground. High angle shot of depot for steel girders. Bars are loaded up into piles. Steel work is assembled on the ground before erection. Men work together in a field to assemble the steel structure of the electricity pylon. Various parts of the pylon are lifted into place. Men clamber over the structure fixing it all together. Men fix the top of the tower. The tower has taken less than one hour to construct.
    Wire stringing sequence - we see how the problem of stringing wire across a railway is solved. Various shots of men constructing stands to hold the wires high above the railway tracks. Conductors are clamped into position. Low angle shot of men high up on the pylons attaching conductors.
    Back to the Electricity Showroom. Our young couple emerge from the back office with the salesman. The husband states: "Well, we'll have the Helsby twin wiring system..." The salesman assures them that the system will not be expensive to fit. The couple request an estimate.
    Sequence showing surface wiring inside the house. Various shots of domestic interior - wife goes about her work (watering houseplants etc.) as the men from B.I. fit the cables. ("No Place Like Home" on the soundtrack.) Intertitle reads: "The dawn of an electric era." Wife dressed in a glamorous evening gown walks into her lounge and says to her girlfriend: "Well, how do you like it? "friend replies: "I think they have done it splendidly." Wife switches on her electric fire (with fake coal effect!) and tells her friend that the lead is "superflex - it never gets into knots". The husband turns on his electric sound system and offers the ladies a cigarette.
    Film tells the viewers that there are branches of British Insulated Cables all around the country and indeed the world. Tower of London and Houses of Parliament represent the capital, L/S from high angle of Birmingham, L/S of the rooftops of Newcastle, high angle shots of Edinburgh, and aerial shots of Cardiff, Paris - men work on what looks like the Eiffel Tower, Holland - shot of what is probably Amsterdam, Norway - scenic shots, Calcutta, India - street scenes, Cairo, Egypt - panning shot of large buildings, Cape Town, South Africa - panning shot of the docks. Film ends with the intertitle: "British Insulated Cables present their compliments and sincerely trust that they have aroused in you a permanent interest in their products." ("Rule Britannia" on the soundtrack.)

    Note: good salesman - customers footage and excellent industrial footage. The actors who play the couple considering installing electricity and the salesmen are very stiff and upper crust!

  • Tags

  • Data

    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:41:03:00 / 01:51:29:00
    Sort Number:
  • Appears in...

    Science & Technology Trade & Industry
    1930s1 BICC Temporary workspace: 22.4.2010 14:31 If the walls could talk PATHE - CORPORATE FILMS National Grid Pylons 1930s stranded Pylons GRID / PYLONS Groppi Groppi Patch 1 UK group Documentaries (1976) Documentary warning Long documentary A detailed look
  • Stills

    0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment