This film is part of Free

Money and Steel

Steel industry economics made simple (and surprisingly interesting).

Industry sponsored film 1959 9 mins


There's iron in the soul of this pithy lesson in the economics of steelmaking. "Everything is on a big scale in this vital basic industry" - but it all has to be paid for. The film lays out the balance sheet, illustrated by the incomings and outgoings of a typical plant. It's an admirably clear, no-nonsense presentation - but are the economics as black-and-white as they seem?

A sceptic might argue that the film is essentially a defence of the status quo: of how the industry (under potential threat of renationalisation, in an election year) is being run, and of its shareholders' returns on their investment. Either way, it's an effective piece of audio-visual communication, its tone briskly authoritative yet engagingly approachable and its simple animated diagrams (alternated with well-chosen stock footage) making it a forerunner of the far slicker corporate reporting of today. Money and Steel was one of some 50 postwar films sponsored by the industry-wide trade body the British Iron and Steel Federation.