Film: 5649

Industry + Work | 1960 | Sound | Colour


The Keymatic washing machine sits in a desolate, barren landscape 1960's
A man in silhouette sitting on a chair with a television in the background interrupts the commentary to ask what is so special about this machine. Very surreal. He is in the trade. Camera tracks into Hoover Keymatic control panel. It is a revolution, the whole cycle of washing, rinsing and spinning is operated by the flick of one switch, the ON button. Our interrupter takes a pipe and tobacco pouch out of his pocket and fills his pipe. Animation of two taps (hot and cold) attached to hoses from the washing machine. Temperature control of washing water. Diagrammatic representation of how the washing machine operates in the washing cycle. We see the eyes of our pipe smoking silhouette as he questions how the water is kept hot in the machine if there is only cold running water. More diagrams of a cross section of the machine showing full cycle of washing, rinsing and spinning. A female is brought into the equation, the typical housewife, to ask questions such as how does it automatically control the temperature. Explanation of washing programmes. The programme is on a cassette disc type of mechanism and is used to set the washing machine. Explanation of each programme. Whites include sheets, pillow cases. The housewife is seen with her washing in the kitchen, the machine hooked up to the kitchen sink. Putting sheets and pillow cases into the washing machine, pushing the ON button and clicking the programming cassette into the machine. Includes close ups of control panel. Repeat of procedure with coloured liquid. Drip Dry articles of clothing pegged to a line are pulled across the screen including a nightgown and a white shirt. The housewife asks if it will take a blanket. She takes a double blanket out of the washing machine. Delicate fabrics are discussed. And woollens. She takes a woollen Baby-Gro off her child. Shots of Keymatic spinning around on an invisible pedestal in that pornographic advertising industry kind of way. A mother and two children, the mother asks about the technical aspects of the machine. Reiteration of washing cycles through diagrammatic representation. Washing drying on a line. Keymatic offers dual washing action! Hand puts washing powder into machine, then sheets. Discussion of labour saving nature of automated washing. A housewife stands on top of the machine (trick photograph) baking, sewing, flower arranging, having afternoon tea with her friend. Comparison of Keymatic with Hoover Twin Tub. Keymatic's castors. Pre-wash programme explained. Indicator of washing cycle explained. The housewife disappears and the washing machine salesman is told to stay by the narrator. Brilliant minimalist set represents the appliance shop. Two women enter the shop. One of the woman has seen advertisements for the Keymatic on television and wants to look at one. The shop assistant obliges. Nice customer and nasty customer scenario. The other woman complains that it looks smaller than it did on television. Shop assistant explains the term automated to the nice woman. And the programming. He basically reiterates what we have already heard. He explains the key slate (or programming cassette disc) . The dealer arranges for a home demonstration. The rest of the shop has a refrigerator, twin tub and vacuum cleaner in the background. The dealer speaks to the Hoover representative on the telephone which is a pay phone seemingly hanging in mid air. Great lamps in the background of the set. Moving the Keymatic from the shop to the back of a van. Two men carry it. Minimalist set representing kitchen of woman customer. Customer has sorted out white wash for demonstration. Putting more washing into the washing machine drum. In the lounge, the customer and her husband drink coffee and look at literature on the Keymatic. The customer trades in her old washing machine for a brand new Keymatic ! Fantastic set for office of head of Hoover. Mr Griffiths who talks about trade ins and the importance of the Keymatic in the washing machine industry. He also looks at the growth of the industry since 1948, by animated means, including the percentage of homes that had automatic washing machines. 1957 sales figures of wringer, semi automatic and automatic machines. Mr Griffiths takes a cigarette out of a cigarette box and plays with it as he talks, then lights it. He continues smoking as he talks. Projected figures for 1961 sales of washing machines by graph. Sales forecast for 1968. Explanation of trade ins. Site of new Hoover factory at Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, on an old slag heap. Mr. Griffiths stands in front of a plan of the new Hoover washing machine plant. Camera tracks in on photograph. Still photographs of production line, washing machine drums, putting machine together. Advertisements in the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror newspapers and the TV Times. Also Daily Telegraph, Daily Herald, Woman Magazine. The Keymatic, against a black background (space and the Universe?), disappears further and further into the distance. Final image of machine with Hoover Keymatic written around it.

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