S.S. Olympic

S.S. Olympic

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02min 55sec





black and white


National Film and Television Archive


British Film Institute

Rights Holder

British Film Institute

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The building and launch of the liner `Olympic'. Includes views inside Harland and Wolff drawing offices and work in the shipyards.



Intertitles are as follows: 'Another thought in connection with high cost of transportation due to shortage of shipping directed a visit to the great Belfast Ship building yard. I had a glimpse of the drawing offices of Messrs. Harland and Wolff. Builders of the White Star Liners', 'The shipyard teems with activity. We were just in time to witness the laying of the keel of another ocean greyhound.', 'After the frame bulkheads and beams are placed in position by constant shoring-up in the building slip, the outer steel plates are lowered and riveted into place', 'Pneumatic riveting, here shown, has not made great headway, being replaced by electronic riveting machines'.  

Urban Movie Chats was an American cinemagazine produced 1919-1922 by the Kineto Company of America, owned by Charles Urban. Originally released in the US by W.W. Hodkinson, in 1920 a 'foreign' edition was released in Britain by Butchers Film Services under a new numbering system (starting 101) - some issues were identical and some re-edited. Urban used much old library material for these productions, hence some confusion over dates. Also known as Charles Urban Movie Chats or Urban Movie Chats.

Shot List

ACTUALITY. The building and launch of the liner `Olympic' at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast. No main title. Pan left of the drawing office; a picture of the liner can be seen in the background (7). The dry dock where the ship is to be built (19). Laying down of the keel; a crane positions the last segment of the keel, pan back to show length of keel (70). Crane lifts a large piece of iron over the site of the keel (84). HAS of keel complete (108). HAS of ship from bow to stern; working on the ship (152); the dry dock structures (170). Crane lifts sheet metal into place (191). Closer views of the positioning of sheet metal on ship structure (216). Rivets being heated (222). Hand riveting (239). Machine riveting (264). Two men hammer rivets (284). LS pan along ship, clad in scaffolding, from bow to stern (300). Steam cranes in operation; in background a sign reads `White Star Royal Mail Ship Olympic' (310). HAS looking down on top deck as crane swings materials across the deck (336). The launch of the ship; CU of bow of ship camera remains in position as the ship slides down the slipway into the water; pan of slipway as crowds disperse (400ft). Note: German titles. Note: According to The Bioscope review, filming began in 1908, the ship was launched on 20th October 1910. (Shotlist) 


Produced by the Kineto Company of America


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