Film: 9117

Industry + Work | 1960 | Sound | Colour


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Tobacco industry around the world 1960's

Two women wearing headscarves push prams through a square in downtown Basildon, Essex.

A mother and her daughter look at a fountain of a mother and child in the town centre.

Fantastic shots of modern architecture, 1950's design including orange lampshades on the exterior of a building. Mothers and prams abound - three are parked outside J Sainsbury's in Basildon town centre. Primary school children run out of a newly-built single storey school building on to playing pitch. Children running into the middle of a residential square with two storey new houses (maisonettes). A Mark I Ford Cortina drives past the Rothmans factory. Cars including Humbers are parked outside. Wide shot of the factory canteen with workers at tables and chairs eating lunch. Green salads in display case and women serving food. Close up of woman worker talking in canteen. A man in blue overalls lights up a cigarette and starts talking to the man opposite him, who is also smoking. Commentary begins to tell the story of tobacco.

The James River, Virginia, U.S.A. and surrounding countryside. Reconstruction of Jamestown stockade - in the distance soldiers in 16th century English military dress march to the beat of a drum. A Native American (the voice-over says Indian) gathers tobacco from the plant. Horse and carriage. Williamsburg street scenes include a pub sign for the Raleigh Inn. A Redcoat parades. The Potomac River and Mount Vernon, George Washington's plantation home. A Scarlett O'Hara look-a-like wearing a red crinoline walks down the drive to a white plantation house. Tobacco farm scenes. Close up of tobacco crop and men tending it. Harvesting tobacco by hand and machine. Close up of black man harvesting. Close up of a white man harvesting, he wipes his brow. A teenage girl sits on a tractor. A man smokes a cigar as picks tobacco. A black woman in curlers and 1950's-style glasses cures the tobacco. Mostly black workers including a child. Shots of a drying house and tobacco for selling. Tobacco auction including close up of auctioneers and tobacco buyers, all of whom are white. All workers in auction house are black. Processing plant - oven treating leaves to dry out for shipping. A lorry with drums of tobacco leaf leave the drying plant (J P Taylor and Company). Arrives at the Basildon factory at 9.20 am. Drums of Virginia tobacco are stacked by a forklift driver. Close up of a cheque for £250,000 paid to HM Customs and Excise, dated 15 October 1963. Drums of tobacco are unwrapped.

Different grades of tobacco are blended together. Forklifts move tobacco around. Technician at a lit-up instrument panel. Tobacco "kipping" machine for removing stalks from leaves with women working on the production line. Tobacco shaken together to blend. Close up of tobacco going into silo. Hoppers of cutting machine cut tobacco into strands of a precise thickness which "ensure a long cool smoke". Good interior factory shots - "from rags to riches, a free flowing river of gold". Shots of drying cylinders. Quality control of tobacco by inspectors including a close up of an inspector taking a sample of the tobacco for analysis. Shots of filter making machine. Remote control unit of a cigarette making machine operated by one male technician. Production of cigarette filter - a blonde woman controls the machine. A gloved hand takes a handful of filters off the conveyor belt and puts them into a box for cutting. Quality control entailing pulling paper off outside of filter to check quality inside. Interiors of factory floor. Close up of machinery of automatic cigarette-making machine. Operators checking machines; pressure drop machine checking density of filter and tobacco packing. Laboratory testing of moisture content of tobacco. Electronic instrumentation measures cigarette weight with analogue dials and switches. Shots of lights flashing on and off on control unit.

Women surrounded by glass tubes and spirals in the quality control laboratory - looks like an episode of The Man from UNCLE! Woman mixes liquid from a glass beaker with blended tobacco and puts this into a weighing machine. In close up a woman's hand, wearing a diamond and sapphire engagement ring flicks a switch. Woman lights cigarettes on a cigarette-smoking machine - she has a good early 1960's style beehive bob hairstyle. She watches the machine smoking the cigarette. A male research chemist adjusts a fractometer in the research laboratory which measures the quality of the cigarette paper, tobacco blends and the filter. It is all men in the research laboratory, all women in the quality control laboratory. The male chemist takes a test tube from a centrifuge and adds more chemicals. Good general shots of 1960's laboratories, instruments and measuring equipment and chemistry experiments. Close up of man looking into a microscope. Factory floor of packaging plant. Close up of cigarettes being sorted, wrapped in silver foil and boxed - brands include Piccadilly, Guards, Rothmans - then packed into cartons. A woman quality controls the packaging.

Lots of shots of packets of Rothmans cigarette packets on the production line. In the warehouse, pallets of cartons are highlighted in the foreground. Close up of Consulate (cool as a Mountain Stream), Peter Stuyvesant, Rothmans King Size cartons being packed into boxes. Boxes of Piccadilly Filter Deluxe and Guards Filter Tipped being loaded into vans. Shot of the fountain of mother and child in Basildon at dusk. Great shots of Basildon at night - both residential new homes and shops, tower blocks, shopping precincts and malls. A night shot of the Carreras-Rothmans cigarette factory. Close up of clock and sign. Clock reads five to one at night. Security guard walks out front door of lit-up building.

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