Hertfordshire film pioneer Arthur Melbourne-Cooper documents the making of walking sticks at Henry Howell & Co..
Supplies from across the globe are gathered at the Henry Howell & Co. factory on Old Street in London; pimento from the West Indies, ash from England. Inside the factory, workers shape hazel on a bandsaw and bend rattan to form crook handles, whilst rough stick are heated in a kiln ready for straightening. A wider shot shows employees in one of the company's cramped but busy workshops. A medium shot shows a worker cutting silver ready for mounting.
Once shaped and straightened, each stick is carefully tested and examined, before being adorned with hand-chased silver mounts or engraved silver handles. Each stick-end is then sanded ready to be fitted with a ferrule cap to protect these ends from wear and tear. The despatch room is as busy as the workshop, as stock is pulled from storage and orders are prepared for delivery. A completed order, placed in a large box bound for Philadelphia, is loaded onto the street. As the day draws to an end, workers are shown leaving the factory, with just enough time for a bit of fun out the back, where two employees demonstrate 'the long and the short' of working for Howell's.
Henry Howell & Co.
Henry Howell & Co. factory, London