Cat no. 262

Speed the Plough

Running time28:45 Black & White Sound c.1950 Ipswich, Suffolk

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


AgricultureArchive AliveIndustrial / Sponsored Film

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.

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.

Featured People:

Mr. A. Roberts; employees, Ransomes, Sims and Jeffries. Joe Cauchi

Featured Organisations:

Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Ipswich

Featured Buildings:

Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies Orwell Works, Ipswich

Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Ipswich, England

Don Chipperfield

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