This film is part of Free

Furnaces of Industry

A patriotic look at British steelmaking.

Documentary 1940 11 mins


The urgent voiceover and the stirring classical soundtrack of this short documentary make for a rousing tribute to the proud achievements of Britain's steel industry. The film was sponsored by the wartime Ministry of Information and the supreme importance of steel is summed up in the final declaration: "Steel - for the triumphs of peace, the victories of war."

Director Cecil Musk made many short documentaries and several feature films, chiefly in the 1940s and 50s. Evidently something of an eccentric figure, he was not universally popular among his colleagues, one of whom later recounted working with a "terrible director called Cecil Musk, who was known as Cecil B. de Musk. He actually worked with a megaphone and wore riding breeches! At Merton Park - I mean, really!" The modest but efficient Merton Park Studios, in South London, were kept busy during World War II producing films for the Ministry of Information. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.