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Chemical Sundries Department (clip 2)

The processing and testing of Co-op food products

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A promotional film shot inside the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society's Chemical Sundries factory at Shieldhall, Glasgow. The film shows methods of quality control and product testing carried out in the laboratory and the manufacturing processes involved. This first clip includes: Shots of 'Unitas' Breakfast Oats being weighed and packed. The oats are then checked in the laboratory with scientific testing being carried out. The porridge is then tested by women in the factory who cook the oats according to the directions on the packet. Jelly crystals are then tested in the factory and 'Pioneer' Custard power and lentils and peas are packed.

Questions & Activities


  • What is the Chemical Sundries department and what does it do?
  • What products can you see?
  • Why is it necessary to test the products before they are sent to the shops?
  • What are the machines doing?
  • Why is the woman making up the porridge?
  • Who is working in the factory?


Media Studies / Art and Design: Using this clip and the advert for Unitas Oats and Pioneer Custard (Australia Week), make a short promo film for the product.

Music: Compose a soundtrack that reflects the noise or rhythm of the machines.

Technologies / Food / Health and Wellbeing / Geography: Reseach how methods of production have changed today. Look at whether food products are still made in Britain and if not, where they come from.

English: Dicuss and list all the ways science and technology is presented. What words does the narrator use to show his pride in the scientists and production methods?

Gender / Food: Discuss the role of women in the clips.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-091-C
Resource Rights Holder By kind permission of The Co-operative Group Limited
Project Ref 0616
Date 1959
Genre Promotional
School Subject Technologies, Chemistry, Economics
Who Gate Film Productions (Production Company)
Where Glasgow, Shieldhall
Event Manufacturing
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 2:35
Film Length 11:00