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In this programme Bernard Waites of the O.U. considers the growth of conflict in industry from 1870. He points out that work control is a major cause of conflict which has become increasingly impor...tant with technological change. Concentrating on the metal working trades of Sheffield, he describes how changes evolved in working patterns in both the light and heavy trades. In the course of the film, Bernard Waites looks at the Abbeydale Industrial hamlet, where scythes were made from the early 18th century to the 1930s, talks to self-employed craftsmen and shows skilled and semi skilled workers in factories and small workshops, using old and new machinery. Change has not been even across the industry. Turning to the heavy trades, particularly armaments, Bernard Waites uses archive film to illustrate how turret lathes and precision machine tools posed a threat to the craftsmen. The First World War was a time when big changes were introduced, against the hostility of the craft workers. Their hostility nowadays is illustrated in a brief section on the Leyland toolroom workers1 dispute - the craftsmen again fighting for their status and pay differentials in an industry dominated by mass production, technology and semi skilled workers. The programme is a mixture of filming on location in Sheffield, The Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry, archive stills, and archive film from the Imperial War Museum.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A309, Conflict and stability in the development of modern Europe c.1789-1970
Item code: A309; 03
First transmission date: 1980
Published: 1980
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:31
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Producer: Peter Trowsdale
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Subject terms: Armaments; Metal-work; Sheffield (England)
Footage description: Film of a trades union march, then od welders at work. In voice over Bernard Waites comments briefly on the nature of modern industrial disputes. Stills of 19th century agricultural workers and factories. Waites contrasts work routines on the land with those of the factory. A print shows 19th century Sheffield. Film of modern Sheffield, over which Waites explains why it is a good city in which to study different kinds of 19th century work patterns. An animated map shows the locations of European metal work centres. Sheffield is compared with Le Creusot and Essen, of which stills are shown. Film of Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet on the out skirts of Sheffield. Various aspects of the steel and tool making equipment are shown as well as working conditions. Waites describes the variety of work done at Abbeydale. Interview with George Watts, a self employed forger. He describes the work of a craftsman 40 - 50 years ago and compares it with that today at Abbeydale. Shots of workshops in Sheffield city centre. A maker of spring knives is seen at work. Waites describes the scope of his business. George Sadler, a table-knife hafter is seen at work and then interviewed. He describes work routines in a small factory that he worked in as a young man. Film of the water wheel at Shepherd Wheel just outside Sheffield. Shots of a modern grinder at work. Waites compares the work of past times with that of today. Print shows 19th century grinders at work. A graph is used to show population growth between 1871 and 1911 and the relative decline in the number of grinders. Further prints depict 19th century factories over which the report of a 19th century Sheffield factory inspector is quoted. Film of Sheffield metal workers at work over which the work routines in modern scissor grinding and pewter and silverware factories are described. The seasonal nature of work in the 19th century pewter trade is described. Shots of factory workers clocking on. Stills, then archive film, of First World War munitions factories over which Waites describes the introduction of modern factory management techniques and work discipline. Archive film of naval gun-making at Vickers factory in Sheffield, over which the rise of powerful unions is described. Shots of an early 20th century lathe. The use of this tool is described. Photographs of a late 19th century factory. The revolution in work routines initiated by the bicycle industry is described. Shots of a micrometer. A turret lathe is seen in action and its significance explained. Portrait of David Dunlop, the Scottish industrialist. Dunlop's views on the advantages of replacing craftsmen with semi-automatic machines are quoted. Stills of shop floor activities. The views of the American engineer Frederick Taylor on the advantages of modern management techniques are quoted. Stillsof early U.S. car factories. The role of the First World War and post-war unemployment in the triumph of modern factory management is explained. The rise of shop stewards as the craftsmens' leaders against new working methods is described. Film of British Leyland workers over which Waites comments on the continuing conflict between skilled workers and factory managers. Interview with Roy Fraser, who explains why shop stewards like himself believe the special status of craftsmen to be so important. Still of British Leyland production lines.
Master spool number: HOU3194
Production number: FOUA013F
Videofinder number: 4168
Available to public: no