Film: 8594

Farming + Rural Life | 1940 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

An educational film about the wool produced in Australia, the story of the yearly cycle on a sheep farm, the collection of wool and its auction, the shipping of wool to England and the manufacture of woollen cloth. Great film showing wool production and techniques in Australia in the late1940's.

A map of the world. Great grasslands of the world are shown including southern Australia. A map of Australia with areas that receive more than 10 inches of rain each year. Superimposed is the area that has an average annual temperature of less than 70 degrees F, so the best wool production areas are in the south of Western Australia and in the south eastern section of Australia. A map of NSW in Australia. A graphic of a typical wool station in NSW, with stream, homestead, overseers cottage, station hands living quarters, stockyards, hay shed, machinery shed, shearing shed, sheep pens, shearers quarters.

Freshly shorn sheep are counted out of individual pens. The flock is herded into a race, which leads to a corrugated iron circular sheep spray, a farm worker shuts the door. The overhead spray sweeps in a circle and sprays the shorn sheep with insecticide chemicals. A close-up of the sheep as they struggle. Inside the shearing shed the shearers have finished their annual task, cleaning up of the shed is in progress. Shearers in utility motor vehicles drive away from the shed.
A flock of sheep are in a paddock in open plain country. A close-up of the sheep. Merino stud rams are let out of the ram shed. They are put in with the ewes in the paddocks. A line of sheep cross a dry stream bed in summer. Another flock hang about a dry billabong. A close-up shows drought effected sheet drinking mud from an empty water hole. Farmers fork sheaves of hay high onto the back of an old fashioned truck, sheep mill about. The sheaves of hay are forked off the high load to the following flock of sheep. A woman forks off the hay, a male worker pours grain from a sack from the passenger side of the slowly moving truck. The hungry sheep run after the truck. They converge on the sheaves of hay and the lines of grain. The woman continues to throw off the hay sheaves into the bare paddock. A close-up of the stud rams as they feed on the hay. A windmill spins in the flat landscape. An artesian bore spills water onto the surrounding ground. It runs into irrigation channels and across the wide flat paddocks. It also runs into stock drinking troughs. A farm worker holds a Merino sheep, a man in a shirt and tie and another farmer inspect a fly blown sheep. There is a close-up of the fly-blown area. At the sheep yards the man in the shirt and tie is tightening a sheep in a crush, other men are feeding the sheep up the race behind it. "Jetting" takes place as the sheep in the crush is soaked with disinfectant on the hind quarters.

A large rolling paddock of pasture has sheep grazing. There is a close-up of sheep with lambs. The man in shirt and tie fondles a lamb held by the farmer. Two motor utilities drive into the farm, the shearers have arrived. Three vehicles are parked at the shearers quarters, the shearers carry their cases and swags into their quarters. The sheep are rounded up on the farm. Stockmen on horseback herd the large flock with the help of sheep dogs. A sequence of shots shows the huge flock being herded towards the sheep yards by the stockmen on horseback and sheep dogs. The workers drive the sheep into a race and the sheep are drafted according to age and sex by a swinging gate. A further check can be made by the numbers of nicks in the sheep's ear. The sheep wait inside the shearing shed in pens. The shearers prepare their equipment. A clock shows 7.30 am, and a bell is rung for the shearers to start work. A shearer enters his pen, and pulls out a sheep and begins to shear it. Rousebaouts sweep up bits of wool, another shearer tackles a big old ewe. The shearing shed has five shearers. There is a close-up of the shearing process. A rouseabout collects the shorn fleece. He takes it to a slotted table and throws it expertly. Two men remove the tufts of dirty wool and pass the fleece onto the wool classer. The loose pieces are sorted into other piles. The wool classer examines the fleece. He pulls a strand of the wool to test its quality. He separates the pieces into piles according to their grade. A worker takes the piles of wool and presses it in jute bags with a wool press, in this case the Koerstz wool press. The name of the station "Wahroonga" is stencilled on the pressed wool bale. The wool clip stacked high in the hessian bags on the back of a truck are unloaded by a man at the Sydney wool store. Inside a prospective buyer inspects the opened bales of wool from many properties. Two men carrying clipboards inspect the wool from a bale. The wool is auctioned to many bidders in the auction room. The rather grand room, reflecting the importance and wealth of the industry, holds many suited male bidders, the auctioneer stands behind a polished timber rostrum. The auctioneer takes the bids. Bidders leap to their feet in the competition for the highest bid, all bidders note the prices with great interest.

A ship is dock at a wharf. The wool bales lie on the docks. A bundle of six wool bales is lifted up by a crane and onto the ship. A map of the world shows the ships route through the Suez Canal to England, the country which takes by far the majority of Australian wool. Wool bales are unloaded on to an English wharf. Men at a woollen mill receive the bales. A man inside the woollen mill grades the wool again, and sorts it into large cane baskets. He empties the basket into a scouring machine, a long old fashioned series of rollers and moving combing and washing equipment. A sequence of shots as the wool is moved through the carding machine and the combing machine, The wool is washed again, and goes into another combing machine, The thick slivers of wool are stretched by a machine. They are wound on bobbins. A woman worker stands at a on series of large spinning rollers. The thousands of strands of wool are combined to form the weft of the material on a weaving machine. A female worker stands over the weaving machine as the shuttles weave the fabric. There is a close-up of the weaving machine. Two male supervisors inspect the woven cloth. A man in a suit inspects the cloth. Long bolts of woven cloth are wrapped up ready for export. A shop in Great Britain has piles of rolls of cloth, two women in fur coats purchase woollen material. The elderly shop owner serves a woman, he unrolls a roll of tweed for her to inspect.


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