Film: 9723

Industry + Work | 1960 | Sound | B/W


An Israeli productivity film in the light of their extensive building programme, focusing on improving productivity in floor tiling 1960's

View of modern, medium-size settlement seen through the branches of a lemon tree in Israel. Closer view of individual houses. Three-storey box-like apartment blocks and beyond to the city. Sequence of shots of different modern housing developments to older traditional buildings in narrow streets.

Pan across a building site and developments, the narration extols the virtues of the building programme. Sequence of close-up shots of buckets lifting gravel to a cement mixer and a man with a wheelbarrow of gravel tips it out. Wide view of a crane as it turns. A sequence shows the crane lowering a bucket onto a roof of semi-built apartments, the narration tells us that modern methods are being introduced to make things easier. Builders working on the upper floor of apartments with props holding uprights (v. stylised shot). Closer view of men at work amongst scaffolding. Sequence shows builders employing traditional methods to whitewash roofs and paint ceilings- "Can something be done to improve these jobs".

A tiled floor and tiler laying tiles, the tiler lays each tile in wet mortar by hand. The tiler lays floor tiles, view from the side, the surplus mortar at the end of the row is scraped off and returned to the bucket. Sequence shows in close-up the process of laying floor tiles, levelling the floor, spreading mortar for each individual tile, pressing the tile into position, gently knocking the tile flat with a wooden hammer and checking with a spirit level, the narration comments "Simple manual work. What can we improve here?" A sequence shows that the area of work can be extended from four to five tiles width but no more without straining the tiler. "Levelling out the sand with the trowel should be done for an area of five tiles with repeated rhythmical movements." Mortar is spread for every row not each tile, the tiler lays each tile separately, "Well, each tile has to be laid separately."

CU the tiler lays two tiles together and has to do more knocking than before to get them flat and level. The tiler demonstrates how work-time is extended even more by trying to lay three tiles at once. The commentary tells us that returning the mortar to the bucket, cuts down efficiency. CU, the tiler demonstrates levelling off the sand for a breadth of one and half tiles in a row which "will save a lot of movements at the end of each row." CU, one trowel of mortar is exchanged for a larger one, "we can reduce the number of movements for transferring mortar from five to two". CU, the tiler loads two heaps of mortar on to the floor. Sequence of several tilers, shaking their heads as they inspect the new trowel.

An illustration shows in outline the traditional trowel used in Israel and compares it with the new improved trowel, showing their measurements, centres of gravity, load and resultant wrist-strain on the worker.

The tiler levels sand for a row of five tiles with one movement, laying mortar in two movements, laying each tile individually. "All this brought an approximate saving of 30% in the time taken to tile one square metre…". CU sequence of tapping the tile with the fist, how it decreases the levelling needed with the hammer, the tile breaks. CU a newly devised hammer with two handles, replaces the need to use the fist.

An animated graphic of the method study. A CU adaptation of the tools, the adapted hammer and trowel, "these are the key to improvement and savings in work". CU a small floor tile is replaced by a larger tile, "there are also hidden possibilities for improvements and savings through changing the product". A sequence demonstrates tiling two areas of floor in different-sized tiles, the larger tiled area being minutely quicker to tile.

A builder on a balcony throws mortar onto a wall with a trowel. A second decorator paints a wall. Two floors of flats under construction with men at work on walls and in windows. Wider pan over three-storey flats with workmen working on them. Nearly-finished block of three-storey flats with balconies and heaps of earth in front. Scaffolding in front of finished apartments. CU, an earthmover's shovel. CU, a caterpillar track. A JCB tips earth into a truck. Two children by a wall in front of a brand new estate of apartment blocks. High view pan out over shanty town dwellings with unrepaired rooves, to eight storey flats on the skyline. Closer view of flats. Montage of Cus of apartment block balconies and windows.

A line of apartment buildings. An estate of two-storey, tiled, suburban-type dwellings with laid gardens. Drainage pipes stacked by the side of the road, a 1950s saloon taxi passes. Three-storey apartment blocks, sparse traffic, cacti in the foreground. Mixed housing of a small town, seen through a lemon tree.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 9723.