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A tribute to British workmanship - from Witney blankets to Sheffield cutlery.

Documentary 1942 8 mins


Pleasing propaganda for British manufacturing - equally adept at battlefield bayonets and harmless kitchen knives. Witness the weavers of Witney, the cutlers of Sheffield and the producers of electric lamps at an unnamed location. Although citing mass-production and its role in fashioning weapons of war, this is at heart a gentle, reassuring vision of craft-based cottage industries. Outsourcing lies far in the future...

The filmmakers perhaps felt some affinity for their subjects. The documentary film business was likewise a cottage industry, likewise distinguished by precision-craftsmanship, likewise applied both to wartime and peacetime purposes. The Realist Film Unit, which produced this film (and many more) for the government's Ministry of Information, was one of the leading independent production companies within the British documentary film movement.