Assembling a Generator, Westinghouse Works


Assembling a Generator, Westinghouse Works is one of 21 short films made at various Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company plants in April–May 1904 and shown at the Westinghouse Auditorium at the 1904 Saint Louis World’s Fair. The films average about three minutes each. This film, most likely made at the Westinghouse plant in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shows a group of men at work on various parts of a large generator, assembling the pieces. A crane carries a large part over to the rest of the machine and the men guide it down to assemble. The crane brings two other pieces to the machine and sets them where they belong. Westinghouse Electric was founded in 1886 by George Westinghouse (1846–1914), the inventor of the railroad air brake and a pioneering entrepreneur of the electrical industry. The firm became heavily involved in the electrification of the United States and by the 1890s was manufacturing generators, coils, and turbines at its Pittsburgh plant. The 1904 films were made by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, a firm founded in 1895 that used a device called the Mutoscope to produce motion pictures. It consisted of a drum around which hundreds of photographs were arranged in sequence, and its rotation rapidly flipped the photographs, advancing the film. The filming was done by G.W. "Billy" Bitzer (1872–1944), an early cinematographer best known for his association with the director D.W. Griffith.

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Publication Information

American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, United States


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Physical Description

1 reel (186 feet) : black and white ; 35 millimeters. Duration : 3:18 at 15 frames per second.

Last updated: April 16, 2012