Art + Architecture | 1940 | Sound | B/W
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Home design, Interior design DIY. Comparisons between old design and new modern designs of the 1940s.
Close-up of 'Junk' shop name. Man beside junk shop. Woman looks in junk shop window; car passes at rear; furniture, fire fender and irons visible in display. Two women looking at glassware in shop; at rear, on opposite side of street, is G. Bowring's Fish and Chip shop, advertising Hot Fish Suppers. People looking at lampshades and light fittings in window. Woman looking in shop window - mostly teapots visible. Close-up of crockery display; sign reads "Small Deposit Secures Any Article".
A tea set, as a hand sets down a teapot; commentary says we still have manufacturers who realise importance of first class design. Three white mugs and a jug. A dinner place setting, with 'designer' glass and steel, and neatly folded napkin. A clock on a table, showing 9:23; an ashtray beside it. A regency-style figurine, rotating. A florally-decorated plate, cup and saucer. Glassware. Men inspecting large quantity of white china, in a warehouse; commentary speaking about exports. Man in work coat standing in office talking to seated man, the designer. A hand with a pencil, drawing a jug. Close-up of the glass jug, being made by hand. Two men at glassworks, preparing to blow glass. One of them puts his tube and glass in the furnace. He sits down to start work on the piece. He snips a piece of molten glass, attaching it as the handle, rolling the jug as he moulds the handle. He makes final adjustments to the handle. Man inspects two finished jugs. Longer shot of man inspecting jugs. Serried ranks of glass goblets. Man moving among high racks of glassware.
Rotating machinery inside canning plant. Closer shot of cans moving along. Cans descending an S-shaped conveyer. Lines of cans in production. A machine detail; sealing the cans? Cans in motion, from a low angle. Cans in motion - labelled, but without tops or bottoms. Cans moving along a twisting conveyor.
Printed wallpaper tracked onto a roller. Swathes of wallpaper, seen from low angle. Long rack of wallpaper, looped for drying. Close-up of wallpaper loops moving along the rack.
A table set for dinner, with candles. Close-up of one place setting. Three metal cruets - commentary speaks of low cost, but excellent taste. A circular table, set for tea, with steel pots. A Utility sideboard, set with candles and flowers; commentary speaks of kinship with Georgian era. Fade to Georgian sideboard, clock on top.
Exterior view of Georgian mansion, cypress trees in foreground. Sunny vestibule with statue and table. Georgian drawing room, fireplace at L, glass chandelier. An old leather bound volume is opened, the cover stamped with references to Wedgwood and Etruria; a hand turns the cover, to show a design inside; turns other pages, showing other designs. Fade to a cameo of Josiah Wedgwood. A medallion portrait of Joseph Paxton, designer. Three shots of Wedgwood vases. The centrepiece of a Georgian ceiling. An Adam fireplace, with a fine mirror lit by candles. A Georgian side table, with a tankard and a glass. A wall clock showing 7:45. A Georgian table set for dinner; much cut glass. A place setting at the table. Three glasses, of different sizes. Silver coffee pots, and three small cups and saucers. A silver teapot, rotated. A very ornate silver teapot, rotated. A flamboyant, if rather grotesque, teapot, heralding the Victorian age.
Industrial crankshafts (?) in motion. Longer shot, showing their connection to wheels turning below. Inside the building, industrial hammers pound a doughy looking substance. Machinery doing an obscure task. Man tending the machinery. Exterior view of cranks and wheels again.
A Victorian still of a man on a velocipede, panning to another standing holding an ordinary (penny farthing). A Victorian vignette photo of a woman clad in rationals, beside a bicycle. Two moustachioed men seated in an early motor car. Victorian engraving of a man and a woman. Victorian engraving of a drawing room scene, a man on one knee, apparently proposing marriage to a standing woman. A Victorian photo of two bearded men, naked to the waist, gripping each other's arms - apparently wrestlers.
Victorian photo of a top-hatted man and a woman in the basket of a balloon. Pan up a Victorian photo of a strong man, wearing shorts only, bearing a pillar on one shoulder. Engraving of a person offering a cup of tea to a seated woman in a striped dress. Engraving showing 'The British Workman 1872' - a uniformed railway porter blowing a whistle; behind him is visible '& NWR'. Studio photograph, supposedly of a family in a boat on a lake. Photo of man in thick moustache, supporting woman in skin costume on his shoulder - 'sex taboo, and yet the eternal feminine.' An engraving of a uniformed man brandishing a sabre before a surprised-looking woman, in a field. Pan up a heavily embroidered chair seat and back - women's activity. Close-up of floral ornamentation. Stuffed finches in a glass case. A Victorian room, with table, glass domes, fire screen, two large wall paintings, harpsichord.
Three shots looking up at the Albert Memorial, from different angles. Pan down St Pancras station; commentary says 'As prices came down, bad taste forced its way up. Everything sold. But good taste? Hardly!'
A building frontage, the inscribed text 'Arts and Commerce Promoted'; pan down the building, which is the Royal Society of Arts. Close-up of the street number and organisation name. Man looking at ornate furniture, under watchful eye of warder. Two shots of statue of Gladstone, who had commented on English people's need to be taught the love of beauty.
Close-up portrait of William Morris. A print being made, of Morris wallpaper. The printing plate is lined up again. Two men assist with the impressing of the image, then one moves the paper along. Close-up of Morris print. Two men standing on a lever, to do the impressing. Close-up of the attentive older man of the two. The paper being patted (blotted?). Longer shot of several people at work making Morris wallpaper.
Intertitle: "Eighteen years later Another landmark - The Design and Industries Association was formed with a slogan - 'Fitness for Purpose'.
Detail of an old tube map, showing 'Connections Everywhere' and inset photos. Fade to photo of Frank Pick, the driving light in redesigning the Underground. Piccadilly Circus, Eros centre-scene, vintage cars and an open-topped omnibus driving round. A station 'Underground' bull's-eye, seen at night. Another view of the sign, a bus passing. At night, a man ascends steps, viewed from below, to L is a hairdressing salon; in foreground a lamplighter lights a gas light with a pole. Very dark scene inside a tube station. Dark shot of men crossing bridge between platforms. Sunbeams shining into station, from high windows. Swiss Cottage Station sign on old sign on wall; fast pan to new sign with bullseye.
A round Underground station. A closer view - it is identifiable as Chiswick Park. View outwards, from inside the round concourse. Interior scene. The entrance to Tickets & Trains - wooden booths. Moving past a bank of ticket machines, each marked with different destinations, and each with slots marked 6d, 1/- and Coppers; towards escalators. Close-up of display on one machine, for 5d fares to 22 different destinations. Past the ticket machines to the top of the escalator; sign overhead is for 'Central Line Platforms 1 & 2'. Going down the escalator. Illuminated sign for 'Platform 2 Eastbound Stratford'. Illuminated sign for 'Platform 1 Westbound Liverpool St, Ealing Bdwy, Marble Arch' - then pan to entrance to westbound platform, past Ovaltine wall poster, then onto westbound platform. Train comes in towards us, from L; pan to open double doors, which shut; some interior detail of the carriage can be seen.
Ornate floral sign saying 'Paddington to the Bank'. Early shot of two horse-drawn omnibuses passing R to L; the second has advertisement for Nestle's milk on front; a hansom cab passes to R behind them, pedestrians milling. A closer shot of the second bus; sign at front says 'WK&LB'; sign on side says 'Malvern Rd Shirland Rd Warwick Rd London General Omnibus Company Limited PADDINGTON'. Interior of omnibus, with padded seats. Angle view of Omnibus, apparently now a museum exhibit. Angle view of back of Omnibus; back has adverts for Hudson's soap, 'BS&W', 'Oxford Circus over Waterloo Bridge'; side has ad for 'Oakey Wellington knife pol[ish]', also 'CC.A', 'Oxford St, Regent St, Piccadilly, London General Omnibus Company Ltd, Baker St & Waterloo stations.' Back of another omnibus, with ads for Horlicks malted milk, Carter's Little Liver pills, Nixey's black lead, Sanitas, Pears soap, [Colman's] musta[rd], with '. . .ONE WATERLOO STA. . .' and 'Over Waterloo Bridge' on a sash; side has ad for 'Lipt…'; also 'Oxford St Regent St . . . London General Omn . . . Baker St & . . .'. Benches on top deck of omnibus. Still of omnibus 11; at front is destination board showing Hammersmith, Walham Green, Kings Rd, Sloane Sq., Victoria Station, Charing +, Strand, . . ., Bank', and ads for Brymay safety matches; on side is ad for Oakey's knife polis[h], 'Charing Cross', and 'GENERAL'.
Close-up of bus wheel, with solid tyre. Fade to pneumatic tyre on moving wheel of London Transport bus; pull back to show whole double-decker - a 30 to Roehampton, with ads for Picture Post on front. A modern saloon car pulls away to L, revealing vintage car behind, on driveway of country house.
Primitive steam locomotive, on display behind railings (Stephenson's Rocket). View from below of early steamship (model). Very early scene of large biplane taxi-ing (original file card refers to 'Vimy aircraft'), men accompanying.
Horse-drawn fire engine pulls out of building to R, gallops towards us, followed by horse pulling wheeled ladder, and a glimpse of another fire engine; crowds watching at rear.
Early electric telegraph. Early telephone. Slightly later wall-mounted telephone. Ornate desk telephone. Wooden-cased desk telephone. Bakelite stick telephone. Modern dial telephone.
Motor fire engine with ladder on top pulls out of fire station, drives towards us, followed by two others; 'LCC fire brigade' is visible, but not station name.
View of port bow of Queen Elizabeth, at berth. 4-engine propeller aircraft in flight R to L. Golden Arrow steam engine approaches R to L, and passes, '2IC157' on side. Pullman Observation Car passes Ro to L. White-coated waiter serves customers aboard observation car. Devon Belle steam train approaches from R and passes.
1905 film of moustachioed cricketers in caps, walking towards us through crowd, mostly of men in boaters. Bowler bowls. Batsman swipes, wicket keeper catches, returns ball to bowler. Modern cricketers in V-necked sweaters walk onto pitch in a line, from pavilion; commentary on how little progress there has been. Bowler bowls. Batsman hits ball, starts to run.
Woman in long skirt gives delicate hit to tennis ball. Umpire above net, in bowler hat, nods. Man in cap taps ball back. Woman returns, adjusts her hat. Modern woman tennis player in short dress makes strong service. Another woman gives backhand return; commentary stresses that these have redesigned themselves.
Woman in bathing costume at Lido rises from deckchair, adjusts bathing cap. Woman in bathing cap and costume descends steps, walks onto springboard. Woman leans on railing watching. Woman dives from springboard. Edwardian women disporting themselves in sea, their skirts tucked up. 1920s? Women in bathing costumes, parading.
Six shots of domestic irons, from Victorian times to the present.
Domestic scene, dim with gaslight. Woman takes dish from coal-fired range. Woman washing cup in enamel basin; commentary says this house goes back to Georgian era. In modern well-to-do house an elegant woman walks R to L, opens a folding glass door.
Modern bathroom and kitchen fittings, displayed back to back. Closer view of kitchen fittings, in what was designed as a back to back bathroom-kitchen unit. Close-up showing rounded corners on a kitchen cupboard. Surgical-type taps, for home as well as hospital. The bathroom unit is drawn off to L, showing a whole warehouse full of these units; commentary says they are being mass-produced for prefabricated houses with rents of 15/- a week. Woman takes milk bottle from refrigerator. She pours milk into a saucepan, sets it on the stove. She fills a kettle from tap over kitchen sink. She puts lid on kettle, sets it on stove, and lights gas with a match.
A prefab, two children in front, playing in the sun; smaller homes need smaller furniture. Modern housing with large windows and porches; a child cycles towards us. Inside, a smartly-dressed woman brings in a tray of tea things to the dining room, where her husband moves the newspaper and sits down. The woman takes things off the tray, sits down, and reaches out to feel the warmth of the heater. The couple in their sitting room, with a young daughter, playing with a toy horse; a shelf unit behind features a large radio. The mother and daughter looking at pictures in a magazine; this is what the machine age will do for us. The mother and daughter moving around at home, the girl apparently getting ready for bed - commentary says how good design is about suiting the object to the age we live in. Child washes in child-height basin; mother leads her to her bunk-bed, lifts her in.
Milling crowds; in foreground a sign points 'To the Exhibition'. Women in a modern bathroom. Woman moving tray in modern layout living space. A display of books on design, in a bookshop; a woman picks one up to look at it. Sign describing demonstration house by Council in Industrial Design, 'Completely furnished and equipped for £250'. Women enter to look round, as two men watch. A large modern living-room interior. A design studio, with desk and drawing board.
A woman painting decoration onto a cup, at a bench; others doing likewise at another behind. Close-up of her hands, painting the cup. Stop-frame sequence of a circle of painted cups appearing. Woman painting a plate. Stop-frame sequence of two piles of painted plates rising up. Stop-frame sequence of a line of ceramic models of fashionable women with handbacks (or price tags). Four close-ups of the heads of ceramic figures. A ceramic figurine labelled 'Allure 25/-'. Another labelled 'Finale 43/3'. Another of a dog and a girl with a fan, labelled 'Dog's Fan'. Four shots of rather crude ceramic dogs' heads. Rear view of ceramic figurines with price tags; fade.
Front of 'Airways Terminal'. Man with pipe pointing to designs; talking, he sits round a table with others - a committee of the British Overseas Airways Corporation. Close-up of a drawing labelled 'Aircraft Glasses for British Overseas Airways Corporation'. Committee member holding pen talks to committee. Another responds. Plans labelled 'Service Buffet'. A woman committee member in a hat smiles. A man nods as he taps ash from his cigarette. A man in glasses, with a pencil, speaks. Drawing labelled 'BOAC sugar bowl and milk jug' - pencil being used as indicator.
Design of various articles necessary in departure lounge. Demonstration of result - stacking stainless steel pots - simple and interchangeable.
Stop-frame sequence of 3 BOAC glasses with engraved logos. Stop-frame sequence of 3 BOAC plates with printed logos. Stop-frame sequence of 3 BOAC glass jugs.
Departure board sign, with clock showing 8:00 as time for New York - hand slots sign in from L. A woman picks up her handbag from the shelf below a table. Woman gets up from the table, taking her bag. Air stewardess makes notes. Man in cap changes clock time to 9:35; boards shows destination Copenhagen. Man struggles up from old sofa. He rises easily from replacement chair. 4-engine aircraft on runway, propellers turning. Stewardess takes coats from two boarding women. Uniformed male flight attendant shows women to their seats. He shows two others how to work the drop-down tables. Traffic control man flashes light from window. Aircraft (G-AGRA) taxis. Bar steward pours cocktails from shaker. Another steward takes tray of cocktails, offers them to passengers. A family seated round a laid dinner table on board. Two stewards pull down an upper bunk and adjust the curtains over the lower. A stewardess hangs clothes in a wardrobe, pulls the curtain over them. Woman adjusts her hair in dressing-table mirror, as another woman enters. Stewardess tucks two women into their bunks, pulls their curtains; the woman in the top bunk turns off the light.
Uniformed schoolgirls walking towards us, in school. Teacher showing design features to schoolboys. Close-up of teacher and bowl. Pupils seated in quadrangle for outdoor class. Teacher in class, talking about good and bad design in teapots - bad is 'over decorated, not functional, no respect for material'; good is 'utility, simplicity, appeal of pure form'. Pupils tending school garden. Pupils leaving modern school-building (single level, much glass). The same scene, the pupils now approaching us. Children run round a tree. Girls running towards sports pitch.
Man in bright studio painting flowers on canvas. The bright studio, a number of easels and canvasses. A potter's hands working wet clay on a wheel. The potter, a man watching and suggesting things. He points to the pot with a pencil. He finishes, and hands reach in to take the pot. Hands lift the pot off the wheel. A hand painting the inside of a bowl. A woman painting the bowl; fade out.
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