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World of Steel (clip)

Promotional film from 1938 about a key export industry

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Made for screening at the Empire Exhibition Glasgow in 1938, the film gives an illustration of steel rolling mill production for girders for the Empire Exhibition Tower. This clip is an extract from the 30 minute original full length version. It shows largest girder in UK being rolled (24' x 7.5"). Colvilles bought up the Lanarkshire Steel Co. in order to get a plant capable of rolling this size of girder illustration of steel rolling mill producing girders.

Questions & Activities


  • What do you think is happening in this clip?
  • What do you think it would be like to work in this environment?
  • The narrator compares the steel to a worm, how else could you describe the molten steel?
  • What is steel used for?
  • What effect does the music have in this clip? Do you think the music reflects what is happening?


Music / Media Studies / Expressive Arts: Add sound effects and music to make the clip even more dramatic.

Technologies: Investigate why the metal bends.

English: In the film the steel is compared to a worm, write a poem expressing this.

English: Write a diary entry of a worker in the steel mill. Think about the noise, heat and heavy work undertaken.

Social History / Technologies: Research steel manufacturing. What was it used for and what is it still used for today.

English / Media Studies: Compare this to clip 1 and clip 2 of the Big Mill. How is this clip similar and how is it different. In what other ways could you make a film depicting a steel mill?

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-025-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0111
Date 1938
Genre Documentary, Sponsored
School Subject Technologies, Social History, English, Media Studies, Music, Expressive Arts
Who Colvilles Ltd (sponsor), Scottish Film Productions (production company), Stanley L. Russell (director)
Where Rutherglen
Event Empire Exhibition
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 1:32
Film Length 06:00