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Length (feet): 
1025 (16mm)
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Library and Archives Canada: 16mm, VHS.
"Contrasting silent footage with modern footage of the Abitibi plant, this film illustrates the evolution of the pulp and paper industry from 1917 to 1962. The main body of the film opens with folk singer Jacques Labreque singing The Shantyman Alphabet intercut with archival footage from log camps of the early 1900's. The film demonstrates improvements to working conditions achieved with the introduction of new technologies: machinery to fell trees replacing hard labour and horses; boats called 'Alligators' used to break up log jams replacing men who once risked their lives balancing on the logs. The river is still used for the log drive with rafts of logs held together and dragged 200 miles to Sault Ste Marie. The rafts faced the dangers of rough weather and storms capable of breaking up the logs and releasing ten thousand cords of pulpwood. The internal workings of the mill are shown as the path of the logs from initial cooking, cleaning and bleaching through to the pulp being dried and rolled into paper is followed. Occasionally a break occurs in the roll spewing paper at 40 miles per hour. The rollers must be cleaned and a new roll started without stopping the machinery. Air hoses are used to clean out the paper from the rollers - contrasted with workers in the past who used their hands. The film concludes with a shot of the workers leaving the plant at the end of a day. The narrator says, '[20 years from now] will this film seem like some old celluloid relic in black and white ? Of course it will.' as the shot fades to black and white and speeds up to 16 frames per second. There are some attempts to link the beauty of nature with the 'beauty' of machines and the whole pulp and paper process. As the paper roll is shown being cut, 'There was the flow of the river drive. The flow of the raft on Lake Superior. There is the unencumbered flow of beauty in this machine.' In describing the snowshoe shaped log raft the narrator reads, 'It is like a giant snowshoe perhaps, a thing of streamlined perfection, even of peace'."


Crawley Films, Free Films: Sources of Free 16mm Sponsored Films in Canada Compiled and Published by Crawley Films (Ottawa: Crawley Films, April 1969): 4.
"Fifty years of progress in Canada's pulp and paper industry."