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

    Projects -- Inside an American Factory...

    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 ...

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

    Related Resources -- Inside an America...

    Selected Bibliography About the Westinghouse Companies circa 1904 75th Anniversary of the Westinghouse Brake Company: Commemorating Three-Quarters of a Century of Pioneering, Wilmerding, PA: The Westinghouse Air Brake Company, 1944. The Westinghouse Companies in the Railway & Industrial Fields, Westinghouse Companies Publishing Department, 1905. Works of Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company: Their Industrial and Sociological Aspect, Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company, 1904. About George ...

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

    The Paper Print Film Collection -- Ins...

    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 ...

  • Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse Co. works (casting scene) /

    Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse Co. works (casting sc...

    What appear to be molds pass by some men on conveyor belts. The men take them off the belt and dump the contents onto the ground. Other men pick up with tongs the parts that have been dumped onto the ground and put them on a pile in the foreground.

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

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

    About George Westinghouse -- Inside an...

    George Westinghouse The various Westinghouse Companies were the product of the mechanical inventiveness and the business acumen of one man--inventor and manufacturer George Westinghouse. This prolific inventor influenced the course of history by enabling the growth of the railroads through his inventions and by promoting the use of electricity for power and transportation. As an industrial manager, his influence on industrial history is considerable, ...

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

    The Actuality Film -- Inside an Americ...

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

    "A Big Man With a Hundred Thousand Horsepower Inside" -- ...

    (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 ...

  • Life in Wilmerding --                        Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    Life in Wilmerding -- Inside an Americ...

    The Ideal Home Town (From The Wilmerding News, September 2, 1904) Wilmerding, as Described by the Pittsburg Sunday Leader--Its Advantages and Shortcomings as Viewed by an Outsider--Credited With Being the Leading Center of Socialism of the Peaceful, Sane Variety--Reporter Selects His Prominent Citizens. How Wilmerding is viewed by outsiders is aptly told in the following article, which appeared in the Pittsburg Leader of last ...

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

    Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, ...

    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
  • Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse Co. works (moulding scene) /

    Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse Co. works (moulding s...

    Men working in teams carry buckets of molten material and pour the material into what appear to be molds lined up on the ground.

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

    The Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company -- ...

    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 ...

  • Panoramic view aisle B., Westinghouse works /

    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 exterior Westinghouse works /

    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
  • The Westinghouse Machine Co. --                        Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    The Westinghouse Machine Co. -- Inside...

    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 ...

  • Steam whistle, Westinghouse works /

    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
  • Panorama of Machine Co. aisle, Westinghouse Co. works /

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

    About the Westinghouse Works -- Inside...

    Map of the Westinghouse interests By the time that the American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. had filmed the Westinghouse Works in 1904, the Westinghouse enterprise had grown to include many companies both in the United States and abroad. Background information is provided here on three of the companies most prominently featured in the AM&B films: the Air Brake Company, the Electric & Manufacturing Company, ...

  • Testing large turbines, Westinghouse Co. works /

    Testing large turbines, Westinghouse Co. works /

    On the left of the screen, a small group of men lift the top off of what appears to be a turbine with a crane and continue to check the machine, tightening various parts with wrenches. On the right side, a few men appear to be testing the workings of what may be a turbine.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Assembling and testing turbines, Westinghouse Co. works /

    Assembling and testing turbines, Westinghouse Co. works /

    A turbine is shown operating. Two men walk up to it, check the running of various parts on it, and write their findings down on paper. A third man is seen walking through a few times, once stopping to look at one of the men's writings.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Panorama view street car motor room /

    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
  • Welding the big ring /

    Welding the big ring /

    A group of men weld one area of a large ring in a fire. They lift the ring, which is hanging horizontally on chains, out of the fire. Four men hammer the hot area on the ring into shape while the remaining men hold the ring. They put the ring into the fire again, take it out, and take it over to a machine ...

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

    Coil winding section E, Westinghouse works /

    Rows of women are shown at tables with winding machines. They wind using material from spools behind them, apparently putting the finished products on the table in front of them. Various supervisory staff, male and female, walk through the aisles, checking the work of the women.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Testing a rotary, Westinghouse works /

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

    Working Conditions -- Inside an Americ...

    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 ...

  • Girls taking time checks, Westinghouse works /

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

    Spelling Pittsburgh -- Inside an Ameri...

    Pittsburgh is an important industrial city at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in southwest Pennsylvania. The French built Fort Duquesne at this site in the mid-eighteenth century but it fell to the British in 1758. The following year, British forces occupied the site and named it Fort Pitt in honor of the then-Prime Minister. The city was incorporated as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, ...

  • The Westinghouse Air Brake Co. --                        Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904

    The Westinghouse Air Brake Co. -- Insi...

    Originally organized in 1869 to manufacture the air brakes invented by George Westinghouse, the company moved to the larger and more modern plant featured in the AM&B motion pictures in Wilmerding, PA, in 1889. The works for this plant comprised over nine acres of floor space. The works and the yard together occupied approximately thirty acres. In 1905, approximately 3,000 workers were employed, and ...

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

    Timeline -- Inside an American Factory...

    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
  • Taping coils, Westinghouse works /

    Taping coils, Westinghouse works /

    Numerous women stand at several rows of tables where they appear to be wrapping tape around some devices, presumably coils. Male supervisors walk down the aisles, observing the women's work.

    • Original Format: Film, Video
    • Date: 1904
  • Tapping a furnace, Westinghouse works /

    Tapping a furnace, Westinghouse works /

    A large bucket is lowered into a pit by male workers using machinery. Molten material from a furnace is poured into the bucket using a slide. The bucket, which has flames coming from inside, is lifted up from the pit by a crane.

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

    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
  • Casting a guide box, Westinghouse works /

    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
  • Girls winding armatures /

    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
  • Westinghouse Air Brake Co. Westinghouse works /

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

    Rights and Access -- Inside an America...

    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 ...

  • Steam hammer, Westinghouse works /

    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