This film is part of Free

Cooke Troughton & Simms in Wartime 1939-1945

Over 3000 men and women of York keep the war effort on target making tank periscopes and gun sights

Promotional 1948 22 mins


This York manufacturer kept the war on target - literally - by making a variety of gun sights, telescopes and tank periscopes. The expansion required to meet wartime needs saw some 3,300 employees pour into the factory - including some 1,400 women. Many of their faces are documented for posterity in this detailed film, scripted by the company's own staff, who were clearly proud of their wartime achievement.

With roots back to the 1820s, the firms that made up Cooke Troughton & Simms became a subsidiary of the better known Vickers company in 1924. The Haxby Road factory building seen at the start of the film was newly built in 1938, and the works continued making theodolites, microscopes and other optical tools into the 1980s.