The Manufacture of Stanton Pig Iron


Details the manufacture of pig iron by the Stanton Ironworks Company Ltd at their foundries across the east midlands including Stanton-by-Dale in Derbyshire.





Film type:

Black & White / Sound





Master format:



The film begins with shots of a Stanton Ironworks' foundry over which the commentary explains that the company is the largest producer of pig iron in Britain. It then goes on to explain the importance of the raw materials to the process of producing pig iron. Initially the focus is on iron stone and we see an excavator at work in an open cast mine followed by the calcination process that can occur at either the quarry or the foundry. Next is the extraction of limestone and we see work conducted in a quarry and then coke production in Stanton's own coke ovens. These raw materials are carefully weighed using 'scale cars' and then placed into 'charging skips' that are pulled up to the top of the furnace and their load deposited into the 'hopper'. A diagram explains how this process works. We then see the exterior of the large hot blast stoves ('culper stoves') that blast hot air into the base of the furnace via the 'bustle' pipes. Another diagram explains the four sections of the furnace and the different temperatures at each level. The film then focuses on the 'off-take' pipes that take the gases from the furnace to the 'cleaning units'. We then see the slag being tapped and run off into 'ladles' and the processes involved in producing materials from slag including tar macadam. We then see the tapping of the iron itself by inserting a compressed air drilling machine that breaks the fireclay seal and the molten metal runs off into ladles that have a 30 ton capacity. The furnace is re-sealed using a large remote control 'gun' that fires fireclay into the hole. The molten metal is then transported by rail to the pig casting machine where it is poured into small, ingot moulds which are cooled using water spray and then dumped into a pit. The focus of the films then shifts to Stanton's laboratories where much testing is conducted. A woman is seen testing raw materials, a man is weighing minute amounts of them and stress tests are conducted. Returning to the foundries we see the production of refined pig iron and then back to the lab again where broken casting are being inspected with the message that Stanton metallurgists are on hand for customers when they have a problem with products made from Stanton pig iron.


A Merlin Film
Directed by J.P.H. Flack
Photographed by D. Ransom
Recorded by J. Miller
Edited by A. Hatherell
Produced by A.H. Luff