• Short Summary

    A look at the different processes that go into the manufacture of macaroni, spaghetti and vermicelli.

  • Description

    St. Albans, Hertfordshire.

    Low angle shot of strings of pasta dough being squeezed through a machine to create spaghetti. The narrator compares the process to "the Indian rope trick by automation". M/S of a factory floor. A man and a woman are hanging strings of spaghetti over racks to dry, in the background is the squeezing machine. Low angle shot of dough being forced through the machine. Low angle shot of the man arranging the spaghetti to dry on a rack. M/S of the man and the woman arranging drying spaghetti. C/U of the spaghetti coming out of the machine. The man grabs a bunch and uses a knife to chop a length off and takes it to be dried.

    C/U of three metal dies on a table. A man's hands picks up one of the dies. The man holds the die in front of his face - it is circular with rows of small holes. He flips it over to examine it, revealing that the holes are a different size on the other side. C/U of the die being placed into the macaroni machine - "this is the process that puts the hole in the macaroni". M/S of the man shutting the machine and prepares to start it by turning various knobs and levers. C/U of knobs and dials. Low angle shot of the fresh macaroni being squeezed through the die before being chopped up by a rotating blade. C/U of the macaroni being shaken about in large metal trays and blown with hot air in the drying cabinet.

    C/U of semolina falling into a pile. The narrator explains that "literally only a length of spaghetti away is another factory" where vermicelli is manufactured. M/S of an enormous metal drum emptying vast quantities of semolina into a skip. Tilt down to a conveyor belt beneath the skip where the semolina eventually lands. The semolina is squashed under a large wheel to form dough. C/U of a rotating blade trimming the dough. M/S of a man leaning over the conveyor belt. C/U of his hand cutting the dough with a knife and lifting it out of the machine. The man then places the dough into another machine that resembles a mangle. With great effort, the man shoves the dough. C/U of the dough being forced through the machine. M/S of the other side of the mangle machine as the dough comes through neatly rolled flat - the narrator explains that the machine "acts like some giant rolling pin". M/S of a man rolling the sheet of dough onto a spool. Various shots of the roll of dough as it gets bigger and bigger. The man then unhooks the spool and carries it off. C/U of the "massive Swiss roll affair" being transferred to another machine. M/S of the dough being flattened and shredded by the machine to create vermicelli. C/U of the sheet of dough feeding through the machine. Panning shot to show the shredding process. C/U of the shredded dough being folded mechanically into bundles. M/S of the machine as a woman picks up the tray of vermicelli. The narrator jokes that "at this rate we'll soon be exporting the stuff to Italy!"

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Colour pictorials
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:08:32:00 / 01:11:34:00
    CP 153

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