Asbestos 1942

This video is a fantastic piece of footage that highlights the attitudes towards asbestos right before it was discovered to be dangerous. It shows exactly how asbestos was formed and what it was used for such as firefighter suits and boots. The location of where the video was filmed is unknown. 

Watch the video here- Asbestos 1942

Source: British Pathé

Strike Paralyses Canadian Town 1949

Filmed in the infamous town of Asbestos, Quebec, Canada on February 14, 1949.  The town provided the world with 85% of its asbestos and the workers of Johns Manville Company have been on strike for over two and a half months. 

This footage shows workers on strike following a dispute over pay. The workers (the union) had several demands. These included  “a wage of $1 per hour, union security, a pension scheme and some company action to check the spread of lung choking silicosis caused by exposure to asbestos” (The Canadian Encyclopedia) 

Watch the video here: Strike Paralyses Canadian Town 1949

Source: British Pathé

They’re Fireproof 1966

Filmed in Rochdale, Lancashire. This footage shows aluminium covered material bonded with the asbestos coming from machine to make cloth for the Cheshire County Fire Brigade. It was said that the asbestos suits made the firemen look like “invaders from another planet“. Watch as the Fire chief throws petrol over a car covered in petrol and the firemen, dressed in their asbestos ‘space invader’ suits run to save the dummy. This shot was filmed at Oulton Park.

Watch the video here: They’re Fireproof 1966 

Source: British Pathé

RAF Firefighting Display 1937

Filmed in Cranwell, Lancashire. Footage of an RAF (Royal Air Force) exercise showing firemen dressed in asbestos suits rescue a dummy from a burning plane.

Watch the video here: RAF Firefighter Display 1937

Source: British Pathé

New Style Buildings 1962

Florida Street, Bethanal Green, London was chosen by the London County Council for a housing experiment. The video shows two prefab dwellings arrive on site. This was a ‘beat the clock operation’ where two houses would be joined together, these were the first of 750 homes ordered by the London County Council. The new houses already contained the hidden killer as the walls were  “plastic covered asbestos.”

Watch the video here: New Style Buildings 1962

Source: British Pathé

Engines for Our Planes 1942

Engineers within the Aviation industry were known for using asbestos products when manufacturing and building engines. Many aircraft manufacturing workers would have come into contact with high dosages of asbestos, especially those working with thermal system insulation, plastic parts fabricators and other building materials. This footage shows various shots of Spitfires, Hurricanes and Defiants (aircraft) in wartime action including video footage of the workers manufacturing Rolls Royce Merlin Ten engines for these aeroplanes.

Watch the video here: Engines for Our Planes 1942

Source: British Pathé

Old Lags, Lag Your Pipes 1944

Pipe lagging was one of the most common uses of asbestos at work and at home. This video, created by the Ministry of Information Government (London), came during the second world war. Work was available and advertised as “Plumbers and Builders Wanted for Work on Bomb-damaged Houses”. The footage shows how lagging your hot and cold water systems with asbestos can help to avoid hot pipes and burst pipes.

Watch the video here: Old Lags, Lag Your Pipes 1944

Source: British Pathé

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