This film is part of Free

Wealth from Coal

The curious by-products of crude coal - drugs, plastics, benzole and fertilizer among them - and their wartime uses.

1940 10 mins Silent


In a world built on the coal industry, the discovery and use of crude coal by-products for plastics and drugs became increasingly urgent during WWII. This Realist Film Unit production, directed by Edgar Anstey, presents a study of Britain's wealth from the coal industry. Special attention is paid to the by-products that can be manufactured from crude coal - important for their many wartime uses, from motor fuel to plastics, pneumonia medicine and fertilisers.