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Factories

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Making Matchbox Cars: c.1965

Making Matchbox Cars: c.1965

A fascinating bit of archive footage shot at the London factory for Matchbox cars, showing off how the cars went from concept to wood model, to production. We enjoyed watching the car bodies spin by on the assembly line, and the miniature traffic jam on the conveyor belt.

How Soy Sauce Is Made

How Soy Sauce Is Made

National Geographic and filmmaker Mile Nagaoka introduce us to Yuasa Town, Wakayama, Japan – the first place make soy sauce, and continues to do so for 750+ years. The process, which involves fermentation of soybeans reminded us of how spirits are made.

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The Simpkins Candy Factory

The Simpkins Candy Factory

A hypnotic video of the people and machines working tirelessly inside the factory of UK confectionary company Simpkins, who has been making its colorful hard candies and packing them up in its iconic round tins for nearly 100 years.

How Jawbreakers Are Made

How Jawbreakers Are Made

We’ve seen how jawbreakers can be crushed and melted, now watch how they they’re made. Each bone-crunching candy starts out as a tiny compressed sugar pellet, and gradually grows through a ridiculously loud process of tumbling in sugar, flavorings, and food coloring.

Bending a Coil Spring

Bending a Coil Spring

A fantastically satisfying bit of factory footage, in which a steel rod is heated and bent into the shape of a giant spring. The fire at the end is because of oil and dirt particles burning off. More hot coil-bending action here.

How Chains are Made

How Chains are Made

Cool factory footage from an old episode of How It’s Made, showing off the process of creating chain from long spools of wire. It’s neat to see how the wire is cut, bent, linked together, and hardened, but the entire time, all we could think of was Rick & Morty anyhow.

Making Victorian Candy

Making Victorian Candy

Tallahassee, Florida confectioner Lofty Pursuits shows off some of their old-school methods for making candies, as they pull melted sugar, crank it through vintage equipment, then crack it apart to create the final forms for their sweet treats. You can buy their candies here.

How Steel Wool Is Made

How Steel Wool Is Made

An old segment from How It’s Made which shows how a steel rod is gradually made thinner and thinner, then run through a metal shaving machine, and woven together to transform it into the scrubby cleaning material we’re familiar with.

The Making of a Steinway

The Making of a Steinway

A look inside the process of crafting one of the world’s greatest grand pianos, from the careful bending of its frame, to the arduous hand-stringing of the soundboard, and precision placement and tuning of each key. Narrated by the late John H. Steinway.

The Big Cloth

The Big Cloth

Jack Flynn and Nick David present a wonderful short documentary about the men and women who work tirelessly to weave, mill, dye, blend, spin, warp, finish, and stamp Scotland’s famous Harris tweed fabric.

The New York Times’ Machinists

The New York Times’ Machinists

We’ve all heard a million times that print is dead, yet publications like the New York Times continue to print hundreds of thousands of newspapers on a daily basis. Motherboard introduces us the three of the dedicated men who keep their presses running 365 days a year.

Making Words in Candy

Making Words in Candy

This fascinating 1950’s footage of English candy maker Barratts Confectioners walks us through the arduous process of making a hand-rolled candy known as “London Rock” – which had its name embedded into each tube of candy.

Weaving a Chain Link Fence

Weaving a Chain Link Fence

We love seeing unusual machines work their magic to produce items we take for granted. Here’s a machine which takes spools of stiff wire, and twists them into the interlocking rows of a chain link fence, while another set of tools twists the loose ends together.

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Making a Coil Spring

Making a Coil Spring

If you’ve ever wondered how they make those giant springs used in the suspension systems of cars, check out this footage of a molten hot rod of steel as it’s bent around a moving cylinder, then quenched in a vat of oil to harden it.

INDUSTRIAL JP Factory Videos

INDUSTRIAL JP Factory Videos

After being transfixed by their video of springs being made, we decided to check out some of the other videos on music label INDUSTRIAL JP’s YouTube channel, and each and every one of them is equally as fascinating.

Nissan TITAN: Steel to Wheels

Nissan TITAN: Steel to Wheels

A look inside Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi factory, where hardworking folks have built every single TITAN pickup truck since 2003. We’re still amazed to see how coils of steel are transformed by man and machine into the vehicles we rely on every day for work and play.

Inside Toyota’s Truck Factory

Inside Toyota’s Truck Factory

We visited Toyota’s 4.2m sq.ft. San Antonio Texas manufacturing plant to see how they build their rugged Tacoma and Tundra pickups. Over 7200 people from Toyota and its partners work in concert with robotics to complete a truck every 60 seconds. (Video by Jim Rough)

How Straws are Made

How Straws are Made

This video shows how two-color drinking straws start out by molding hot plastic into a large tube shape, which is then gradually reduced down in size through a series of cooling trays. We’d like to hack this machine to make the world’s longest Krazy Straw.

How It’s Made: Rainbow Sprinkles

How It’s Made: Rainbow Sprinkles

Science Channel’s always enthralling How It’s Made shares a look inside a candy factory that makes those little colorful sprinkles (aka “jimmies”), and the process that it takes to turn sugar, shortening, and food coloring into the decorative treat.

How Rubber Gloves Are Made

How Rubber Gloves Are Made

One of the more unusual bits from the How It’s Made series takes us to a creepy factory filled with hand-shaped ceramic molds that wind their way through a lengthy assembly line, and then dipped in rubber and heated in an oven. Seriously, did Tim Burton create this place?

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Building a Super Hornet

Building a Super Hornet

Watch the complex process of assembling an F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jet, reduced to just about three minutes. Each $52 million dollar plane is almost entirely handbuilt at Boeing’s St. Louis plant, with robots handling only a small portion of the process.

Building Big Trucks

Building Big Trucks

Liebherr walks us through the process of turning raw sheets of metal into its gargantuan, 600 ton 282 C Haul trucks at their facilities across Australia. The scale of these things doesn’t sink in until the semi shows up to transport the truck’s hopper.

How Shipping Containers Are Made

How Shipping Containers Are Made

They’re one of the world’s most ubiquitous objects – metal shipping containers used to transport goods around the planet. In this clip from BigSteelBox, we go inside a Chinese factory where the containers are crafted by a laborious mix of machine and human effort.

Waterjet Cutting

Waterjet Cutting

An incredible demonstration of the power of water, as this high pressure cutter slices cleanly through metal like a hot knife through butter. The 5-axis Kimla Streamcut can slice smooth and precise parts from a wide variety of materials, from foams to ceramics and stone.

Gummy Candy Assembly Line

Gummy Candy Assembly Line

We’ve already learned how to make our own gummy candies, but this neat video from Bosch Packaging Technology shows how they’re made in mass quantities. There’s something immensely satisfying about all those gummy bears and worms rolling off the assembly line.

Inside the Gibson Acoustic Factory

Inside the Gibson Acoustic Factory

While we were touring the mountains in the new 2016 Camaro SS (yeah, hard life, we know), we dropped by the Bozeman, Montana factory where Gibson Acoustic has been crafting guitars for the last 30 years. Incredibly, almost every step of the process is still done by hand.

Salami Robots

Salami Robots

We’re always amazed by the strange and wonderful contraptions used in factories to automate laborious tasks. Here, a crafty robotic assembly line picks and sorts salami sticks, grabbing the loose meat sticks and neatly placing them into trays for packaging.

How Rubber Mats are Made

How Rubber Mats are Made

A fascinating sequence from the Discovery show How It’s Made, in which used old tires are shredded and turned into tiny particles which can then be melted down and turned into new rubber mats, in a great examples of recycling what would have once just sat in a landfill.

The Last Audio Cassette Factory

The Last Audio Cassette Factory

Despite being a technological dinosaur, there are a handful of people out there using cassette tapes. Through its stubbornness, National Audio Company is the last man standing, and has benefitted greatly from this fact. Original video from Bloomberg Business.

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