Cat no. 261

The Construction of a Modern Electric Trolley Bus

Running time4:35 Black & White Silent 1935 Ipswich, Suffolk

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The manufacture of an electric trolley bus at Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies.


DocumentaryIndustrial / Sponsored FilmPromotional

The film is described as a visit to the Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies works while an order for fifty trolley buses for Cape Town is going through. The first shots show the foundry in general. Foundry processes are shown in detail. A general view of the Smith's shop is followed by a demonstration of the steam drop hammer and other processes. These include heat treatment, flame cutting and welding. There is a scene from the laboratory and then a log shot of the machine shop. An overhead shaft and pulley system supplies the power. Machine shop operations are shown in close up.

Shots of at work with heavy machine tools and the final inspection of components. Women are shown coil winding. The fabrication of the armatures and the testing of the motors is recorded. This includes aerospaced test and high voltage tests. Chassis are moved by overhead crane to the erection shop, which is big enough to hold 40 or 50 chassis. The first component, for example the springs, are put on whilst the chassis is upside down, then the chassis is turned over for fitting the wheels, motor and later parts. Insulators are fitted. Outside the factory an electric lorry pulls out with a test cab fitted. In the suburbs of Ipswich the conductor pole are put up, and the chassis moves off. Captions explain the braking system and we see this demonstrated on the road.

The next sequence is filmed in the body builders, Weymann Motor Bodies (1925) Ltd. Craftsmen are at work on both single and double decker chassis. A finished trolly bus goes for a final test run. The trolley buses are shown being towed out of the factory on their way to the docks. They are loaded onto a cargo ship by crane. Two brief sequences show the trolley buses at work in a Cape Town suburb. The film ends showing other Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies trolley buses at work. The first sequence emphasises their success on the cobbled streets of Liege. The second, filmed in 1930, shows the trams in their home town of Ipswich. This shows good views of Cornhill.

Background Information:

Trolley buses were introduced to Ipswich between 1923 and 1926. Some were made by Ransomes, Sims and Jeffries in Ipswich. Others were made by Richard Garrett at Leiston.

Featured Organisations:

Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Ipswich

Featured Buildings:

Ransomes, Sims and Jeffries Ltd. Factory, Ipswich; Weymann Motor Bodies (1925) Ltd. Factory

Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies

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