This film is part of Free

Workers Leaving Butterley Ironworks, Ripley (1900)

Very early footage of a vast industrial site in Ripley, and the folk who manned the machines.

Non-Fiction 1900 2 mins Silent


One of the earliest films in the Mitchell & Kenyon collection, this features one of the most important UK engineering companies of its time. The Butterley Forge and Wagon works, founded in 1790 by Benjamin Outram, was a vast industrial site which followed the course of the Cromford Canal from the village of Stoneyford all the way to Golden Valley in Derbyshire.

Shot on 6 October 1900 for screening at the annual fair, the film shows workers who produced industrial goods such as cast-iron and steel rails, including the 'mechanical traveller', which hauled trams along the new tramways. Numerous monuments to Butterley's expertise still stand today, including the roof of St. Pancras Station and many bridges worldwide.