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Mitchell and Kenyon: Workforce of Scott and Co. Shipyard (1901)


Main image of Mitchell and Kenyon: Workforce of Scott and Co. Shipyard (1901)
Mitchell and Kenyon 90: Workforce of Scott & Co. Shipyard, Greenock
35mm, black and white, silent, 99 feet
Production CompanyMitchell and Kenyon

Workers leaving the Greenock-based shipbuilding firm.

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James Kenyon and Sagar Mitchell formed a partnership in the late nineteenth century and made films until 1913. The vast bulk of their output of nearly 800 films comprised actuality films, commissioned by travelling exhibitors for showing at local fairgrounds, theatres and town halls. The 'factory gate' film is an identifiable category within Mitchell and Kenyon's films: the commissioner of the film - often a fairground showman - would often request that as many people as possible be captured within the frame, to encourage the largest possible audience when the film was then screened at a fairground or local venue. Given the sheer numbers of people employed in industry at this time, films of workers leaving coal mines, engineering works, factory gates or, as here, shipyards, proved popular.

In the film of Scott and Co's shipyard gates, well-dressed men can occasionally be seen at the left and right of the gates, trying to direct the men's attention towards the camera. These were employees of the filmmakers or of the local showmen, charged with helping to bring as many potential customers' attention to the filming as possible. As a horse and cart leaves the factory, a man leaps onto it and obligingly doffs his hat to the camera.

Shona Barrett

*This film is included in the BFI DVD compilation 'Tales from the Shipyard', with piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne.

Click titles to see or read more

Video Clips
Mitchell and Kenyon 90 (1:53)
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: Pay, Factory Gate (c.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
Shipbuilding on Film - The Early Years
Tales from the Shipyard