Speed the Plough

1950 , Ipswich (Suffolk)

A general account of the manufacture of farm machinery in Ransomes Orwell Works.

The film opens with a brief account of the history of the firm. This is conveyed by captions over stills. Some of the stills include advertisements for Ransomes. Speed The Plough. There are long shots of the factory before opening in the morning and then the workers arrive. One by one machines start up. Electric fork lift trucks move machine parts around the factory. We see the assembling of a variety of equipment including reversible ploughs, trailer cultivators, disc harrows and potato lifters. A general view of the tool shop shows more than twenty men at work. Close up shots show some of the processes in detail. In the drawing room draughtsmen discuss plans and then one is seen down on the shop floor discussing a design with an engineer. The next sequence shows how a design weakness in a disc plough bracket is improved. With the aid of birefringence analysis on Perspex models an improved design is evolved. The original design and the final design are shown in close up. In the foundry sand is packed into moulds for 2 cwt castings. Complex shaped cones are inserted. A general view shows the foundry floor, with workers pushing around containers of molten metal, which are supported on an overhead gantry. A furnace is tapped and a sample taken. Molten metal is poured into moulds. The next scene shows the wasted casting being knocked out. The next sequence shows the steps in a more automated form of casting. The film moves on to show the construction of a heavy tractor plough. Steel beams are bent to shape by a 'bulldozer' and then assembled on the shop floor. The bodies are put on and then assembly is transferred to the production line. The construction of a heavy steel wheel is shown in construction and fitted to the plough. The finished plough is inspected and lifted outside. It goes to the paint shop where it is part sprayed and part bushed then baked. Spare parts are dipped in paint. The plough is labelled. Two brief final scenes show the warehouse and then a Ransomes plough at work on the farm.

Featured Buildings

Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies Orwell Works, Ipswich

Intertitles

Ipswich 1789. Robert Ransome started business as an iron founder. For the first time engineering principles were applied to the manufacture of ploughs. In 1837 a new factory was built by the riverside. Orwell Works. And today in the manufacture of ploughs, many of the principles established by Robert Ransome are still retained. Assembling reversible ploughs. Assembling dountless cultivators. Disk harrows under construction. Assembling various types of potato diggers The tool shop. In the drawing office new ideas are being developed continuously. Latest methods of stress analysis are used to improve our products. From the planning department orders go to the up-to-date mechanised foundry.29 cores are used in these 2 cwt castings. Latest type moulding machines in use. The first step in the manufacture of a heavy type tractor plough. Bulldozers forge the beams. The frame is assembled. On the assembly line, the plough begins to take shape. Making the steel wheels. After having been fitted with furrow plough and drawbar, the plough is ready for inspection. To the paint shop. To the paint stoving oven. Dipping spare parts. From the warehouses hundreds of tons of equipment are sent out to all parts of this country and abroad. The heavy tractor ploughs that we have seen being built are now busy on the farm. Used throughout the world. The End.

Background Information

The employee working the bulldozer for bending parts of the heavy tractor plough was Mr. A. Roberts of Ipswich. The employee assisting was Joe Cauchi, a Maltese who died shortly after.

Manifestations

Speed the Plough

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