This film is part of Free

Iron Foundry Workers

Death-defying iron workers

Industry sponsored film 1900 1 mins


You can feel the heat in these remarkable images of hardy workers at the Vickers iron foundry, outside Newcastle, pouring red hot metal into sand moulds to make iron ingots for manufacturing or as ballast for ships. Even with the men's heavy-duty protective footwear, it's hard not to worry for their health and safety, given how serious the slightest stumble might be.

The quality of lighting available in the earliest years of film made it all-but impossible to capture images indoors - which is these shots of men actually working are so rare. Much more common - in fact something of an early film staple - are films showing employees bustling through factory gates at the end of their shifts.