Film: 3384

Industry + Work | 1950 | Sound | Colour


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Educational film aimed at children. Uses puppets and fairy tale characters to illustrate how coke is made 1950's

A fairytale castle. Puppet Willy the Woodsman. Willy has a new way of setting his camp fire, he stacks the wood and partly burns it to create coke which he discovers is smokeless fuel. Good King Wenceslas comes along, the King wants some wood to heat his castle as he feels the cold so badly.
At the Kings palace he and the Queen and King Cole and Queen Cole have just finished a feast and are rather grumpy. The fire is smoking and King Wenceslas is cold. He announces that whoever can warm his castle without creating lots of smoke can marry his daughter Princess Wendy. Willy the Woodsman says he will do it and he shows them the coke he has made. He builds them a coke fire and explains that it is burnt wood. The Queen accuses Willy of cheating them as he wants to charge the same for the coke as he did for wood and yet coke has been burnt once. They call him a cheat and get him thrown out of the castle. Willy meets a wizard who tells him that he would be better off in the twentieth century. By magic Willy is transported to a British town in the 1950's. Willy meets a character called Therm who is a red plastic puppet in the shape of a flame, bit lame really. Therm shows Willy around. By magic Willy and Therm arrive at a factory to carbonise coal. The coal is partly burnt then cooled with water which converts to steam. Bulldozers move large piles of coke around. Coke is used by industry, especially to make bricks as coke is smokeless as does not blacken the brick. The brick factory produces a million bricks per month. Therm shows Willy a modern city with all the houses made of brick. By magic they are in a typical 1950's kitchen. Therm introduces Willy to the housewife. She demonstrates the coke boiler in her kitchen which provides her with constant hot water. The boiler burns coke and can be controlled by a thermostat, the more oxygen you let in the hotter the coke burns. She demonstrates an iron poker to clean out the boiler grate. If the fire goes out the poker has a gas supply and can be used as a fire lighter. Gas laboratory. Testing how much heat coke fires produce. Coke needs air to burn but if the coke is too small there is not enough air in the spaces between the lumps of coke. If the coke is too big there is too much air between the lumps so use a medium size coke and the grate should have gaps in it large enough to stick your finger through. Don’t let coke fires burn to low. Once they have half burnt down they need to be cleaned and more coke put on. Fire place which incorporates a gas fire with an open coke fire - looks as if it would be dangerous!! It takes 4 tons of coal to make 3 tons of coke. Willy and Therm leave. By magic Willy is back at the castle where the king and queen are too cold. Willy puts his coke on the fire and the castle gets nice and warm without filling up with smoke. The King wants to reward Willy but Willy holds the King to his promise and insists on marrying Princess Wendy.

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