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Summary: Lewis machine gun and tank manufacture by women, probably at the Birmingham Small Arms factory, 1918.
Description: I. Women use various types of heavy plant, chiefly lathes or punches, to make Lewis machine guns. One group rivets on the retaining pieces to the ammunition pans. Spraying the ammunition pans. Making the machine gun bolt, starting by profiling the camway, milling the extractor slot, boring and parting off the ferrules and profiling the receiver. One woman uses a die stamp to blank the ammunition pans, another mills the sides of the magazine centres using water as a coolant on the machinery and a third drills the centres while a fourth slots them. The captions are each headed "Woman doing...". II. Men and women make ammunition boxes for tanks at workbenches. The women broach the roller bushes of the suspension system, using a type of lathe. Others mill the links for tank tracks, one holding up a link to the camera. The jaws of the track links are milled by machinery, drilled, chains are assembled and the whole fitted into the tracks, with the chains riveted on. One woman operates a press for riveting the outer walls of a tank, while men manoeuvre the press into position. Women paint the hull of a Mk V Female tank, number 9835, which is near completion.
Production Details: Ministry of Information (Production sponsor)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: Birmingham Small Arms (?) (regiment/service)
Keywords: industry, British - guns: [+] (object name)
industry, British - vehicles: [+] (object name)
weapons, British - smallarm: Lewis machine gun (object name)
armour, British - tank: Tank Mark V (object name)
GB, England & Birmingham, Warks (?) (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: None
Subtitle language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 575 ft; Running time: 10 mins
Notes: Title: this is taken from the shotsheet.
Remarks: the subtitling style is characteristically matter-of-fact, but the habit of starting every caption with "Woman doing..." or "Woman making...", even when there are men in shot, almost suggests that the film makers cannot quite believe that women are capable of such things. Certainly a main point of the film is not merely that the munitions are being made, but that it is women who are making them.