Library of Congress > Collections > Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

Collection Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

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  • Working Conditions -- Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    The companies that made up the Westinghouse Works prided themselves on being modern and progressive. This opinion is probably what led them to allow motion pictures to be taken of the working conditions in these plants, since they felt that their progressive ideas were in particular evidence there. MICA Splitting Department An example of these forward-thinking ideas was the institution of the 9-hour workday ...

  • The Actuality Film -- Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    The earliest popular venues for motion pictures were nickelodeons -- peep show parlors where machines played short film loops, or films on flip cards called mutoscopes, for individual viewers on demand. By the turn of the century, films were being shown in store-front theaters and traveling carnivals. Significantly, movies also began to be projected in vaudeville and burlesque theaters, sharing the bill with a ...

    • Date: 1904
  • Testing a rotary, Westinghouse works /

    A small group of men turn on what appears to be a generator. As the rotary spins, the men make adjustments to the machine and check its operations.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Steam hammer, Westinghouse works /

    From what appears to be a furnace, a large, glowing block is lifted with the help of a crane over to a table by a group of men. A hammer comes from above and pounds down on the block repeatedly as the men turn the block several times so that it will acquire a certain shape.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Assembling a generator, Westinghouse works /

    A group of men work on various parts of a large generator, assembling the pieces. A crane carries a large piece of the generator over to the rest of the machine, and the men guide it down to assemble it. The crane brings two other pieces to the machine and lays them down where they belong.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Casting a guide box, Westinghouse works /

    A large bucket full of molten material is poured into a large container, possibly a mold, by a group of men using machinery. Some other men stoke the fire under the container. When finished pouring, the men lift the bucket up from the container and take it away on a crane. Two men put prods down repeatedly into the container, while others lay covers ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • The Westinghouse Machine Co. -- Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    Organized in 1881, the Westinghouse Machine Company was devoted primarily to the manufacture of gas and steam engines, turbines and mechanical stokers. The main works were located at East Pittsburgh at a property covering nearly 50 acres. With a working floor space of 20.4 acres, the company employed approximately 3,500 men by 1905. Some of the company's most notable products were the Westinghouse-Parsons steam ...

  • Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse works /

    A large group of men are shown performing various tasks in one room at the Westinghouse Air Brake Co. On one side, men are shown pouring a hot liquid into molds on the floor. A conveyor belt delivers items which are then taken off the belt by a man. Men on the other side of the screen appear to be lifting items out of ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Timeline -- Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    1846 George Westinghouse born. 1865 George Westinghouse obtains first patent for rotary steam engine. 1869 George Westinghouse receives patent for the air brake. Westinghouse Air Brake Company organized with George Westinghouse as president. 9-hour workday and 55-hour workweek instituted. 1871 Company institutes Saturday half-holiday. 1872 Automatic air brake invented. 1878 First foreign air brake company started at Sevran, France. 1881 Westinghouse Machine Company formed. ...

    • Date: 1904
  • Girls winding armatures /

    Numerous women sit in rows at machines where they appear to be winding some type of wire and tooling it onto machines. Two young men push spools of this wire down the aisle. Supervisors, male and female, walk down the aisle and observe the women's work, stopping for a while at one woman's station.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • "A Big Man With a Hundred Thousand Horsepower Inside" -- Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    (Excerpt from The Wilmerding News, September 30, 1904) --George Westinghouse, Controls 25,000 Men-- --THE GENIUS OF THE AGE-- --One Day of His Personal Work in This District-- A big man, with a hundred thousand horse power inside him; a masterful man, with 25,000 men directly under his leadership; a man who controls whatever he touches; an absolute ruler, as absolute as the Czar. George ...

  • Rights and Access -- Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. The ...

  • Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    The Westinghouse Works Collection contains 21 actuality films showing various views of Westinghouse companies. Most prominently featured are the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, and the Westinghouse Machine Company. The films were intended to showcase the company's operations. Exterior and interior shots of the factories are shown along with scenes of male and female workers performing their duties at ...

    • Date: 1904
  • Panorama view street car motor room /

    A camera moving forward on an overhead crane gives a traveling view of men working on machinery. Carts carrying parts and pieces of machinery pass by on rails; cranes lift machinery; and men perform their various duties, including hammering objects.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Panoramic view aisle B., Westinghouse works /

    Filmed using a camera on an overhead crane, a traveling view of a large, long aisle is shown. Men are busy performing various tasks on machinery, probably generators. Other men are walking down the aisle in all directions, and carts carrying items come and go. The film ends when the camera reaches the end of the aisle where windows and a large opening are. ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Panorama of Machine Co. aisle, Westinghouse Co. works /

    A camera on an overhead crane travels down a large, long aisle where men are shown working on large machinery on either side. Carts carrying equipment are shown traveling on rails down the aisles. There are also men walking in the aisles.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • The Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company -- Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    The main works and branch factories of the Electric & Manufacturing Company Organized in 1886 as the Westinghouse Electric Company with a force of 200 men, the name of the company later became the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company. By 1904, the number of workers grew to 9,000 at the main plant with 3,000 additional employees in branch factories. It became the largest of ...

  • Projects -- Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    Worked On By the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company During This Period At the early part of the twentieth century when the motion pictures of the Westinghouse Works were filmed, the Westinghouse companies worked on several projects which brought them great notoriety. This was especially true of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company which obtained contracts for several highly visible projects, namely the Interborough ...

  • Girls taking time checks, Westinghouse works /

    Almost 200 women file by a device on the wall from which they take their time checks. A man runs half-way across the screen at the end of the film.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • The Paper Print Film Collection -- Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    Most of the films featured in the American Memory presentations are from the Paper Print Collection of the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. Because the copyright law did not cover motion pictures until 1912, early film producers who desired protection for their work sent paper contact prints of their motion pictures to the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library ...

  • Steam whistle, Westinghouse works /

    A closeup of the steam whistle blowing at the "Westinghouse works" complex of factories in Pennsylvania, probably at the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Coil winding machines, Westinghouse works /

    Numerous women stand in rows at winding machines, taking material from large spools behind them. A male supervisor walks down the aisle, checking the work of the women.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Panorama exterior Westinghouse works /

    The view from a moving train shows some of the Westinghouse interests and the surrounding areas. It appears that the film is in two parts and has been incorrectly spliced together with the last part put first. The film is supposed to show one rail route, but maps indicate that the first part of the film logically should be placed last. The first part ...

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904