Film: 3876

Industry + Work | 1960 | Sound | B/W


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History of Telecommunications.
Shot of mast in field, camera pans up Cables lowered from ship into the sea. Close up of cables in the sea. Shots of dishes on radio masts. Pan across countryside, a row of pylons.

A man walks from an office with people queueing into another room. A finger dials numbers on a telephone. Shot of a telegram, pictures of Queen Elizabeth at the top. Hands typing on a typewriter. Shots of machinery sending messages. A policeman unlocks a police telephone box on the street outside a shop and picks up the phone. Uniformed firemen leap up as the phone rings. They slide down the pole. The firemen get into fire engines. The old-fashioned fire engine races down the street, firemen are standing on the outside of the vehicle. The sound of warning beeps, a communications mast. A lifeboat slides down the ramp into the sea. The lifeboat sails off, four lifeboat men are aboard.

More masts. Shot of an aeroplane. Interior of cockpit. Voice says "This is London Airways…" A man speaks into a microphone. Shots of cockpit and workers at control. Rows of bulbs flashing.

View through small window in a roof of a man in nineteenth century costume - historical reconstriction of Hans Orsted experimenting with a compass needle and a conductor with an electric current passing though it. Diagrammatic demonstration of the same principle. Diagrammatic demonstration of the working of an electromagnet. Historical reconstruction of Andre-Marie Ampere writing with a quill and looking at a diagram on his desk. Reconstructions of needle telegraphs developed by Cooke and Wheatstone. Nineteenth century leaflet advertising "The Wonder of the Age! The Galvanic and Electro-Magnetic Telegraphs on the Gt. Western Railway…"

Reconstruction of Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail inventing Morse Code in America in the 1830s. Morse code being tapped out on a machine. Diagrammatic demonstration of Morse Code. Painting of a ship. Another painting of a ship in a storm. Portrait of Cyrus Field. Painting of the UK ship HMS Agamemnon and the US ship USS Niagara, used to lay the first cable under the Atlantic. Drawings of the cable. Diagram of the UK and the Atlantic, showing the cable to the US.

Reconstruction of Lord Kelvin (with a very bushy beard) experimenting with light reflected from his eyeglass. Scenes of him developing the Mirror Galvinometer. Drawings of the Agamemnon. Drawing of a building with the sign All Honour to Cyrus B Field, fireworks behind it. A hand leafs through a book, reading a section on Construction of Submarine Telegraph Cables, with diagrams. A diagrammatic demonstration of how the cables work under water. Pictures of ship The Great Eastern, used to transport the cable in 1865.

Reconstruction of Alexander Graham Bell developing the telephone. Model of microphone improved by Edison. Diagrammatic demonstration of how a telephone works. Drawings of people in late nineteenth century America using telephones. Telegraph equipment, various machines. Reconstruction of Marconi receiving the first radio signals across the Atlantic, he passes the receiver to his companion. Shots of masts. Shot of interior of mast. Valve in bulb.

A young woman on the phone. A row of women at a switchboard. Telegraph office, signs for Cologne Geneva Zurich. Various shots of women taking calls at the switchboard. More masts. Sign on a small building Wick Radio. Ship at sea. A man wearing a jumper, smoking, at the signals on a ship, speaking in the microphone about Aberdeen. Model of Earth and ionosphere.

Wires. Polythene cables. Two men handling an enormous roll of polythene cable. Shots of men in white coats and caps handling valve amplifiers. Shots of Post Office ship Monarch in 1955. Shots of radio masts. Women at a switchboard. Diagrams of radio signals. Film being sent by cable. Shots of various equipment. Plasticky-looking model of earth spinning with route of proposed new cable. Valves, man in laboratory looking at valves. Spooky space music. Giant satellite at Goonhilly, Cornwall. Explanation of lasers. Man sketching on a drawing board with diagram of London New York Communication Circular Polar Orbit.

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