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Mitchell and Kenyon: Pay, Factory Gate (c.1900)


Main image of Mitchell and Kenyon: Pay, Factory Gate (c.1900)
Mitchell and Kenyon 93: Pay, Factory Gate
35mm, black and white, silent, 40 feet
Production CompanyMitchell and Kenyon

Small boys hand out pieces of paper to factory workers.

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The title given to this film is that of the sole word inscribed on the original negative. One of the most appealing aspects of the Mitchell and Kenyon collection is the way in which study of primary sources of the period (undertaken at the University of Sheffield) has been able to put so many of the films into context. This is the rare example of a Mitchell and Kenyon film which historical research has been unable to date or to identify in any specific way. This leaves us having to appreciate the film solely for its onscreen content and the way in which the camera has captured it - and it does strikingly. Compared to other examples, the camera is placed extraordinarily close to the action, making the workers - many female - occupy a much larger proportion of the screen.

The somewhat puzzling inscription should not confuse us into thinking that the pieces of paper being handed out by the young boys are anything to do with paying the employees. They probably advertise the show at which the film would be screened to its participants and their friends and family.

Patrick Russell

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Video Clips
Mitchell and Kenyon 93 (1:01)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Employees Leaving Vickers and Maxim's (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Employees Leaving Williamson's Factory (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Employees at Walker Engineering Works (1900)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Workers at Barlow and Tweedale (1905)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Workers at Pilkington Glass Works (c.1900)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Workforce Leaving at Lunchtime (c. 1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon: Workforce of Scott and Co. Shipyard (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon