Just Peanuts: Processing (1954)
At the peanut processing plants, the peanuts come out of large roasting ovens to be aired and cooled. In the next phase, peanuts go through the blanching machine and have their husks removed. Women operators in a factory production line sort through the peanuts and discard the imperfect ones. Then a large grinding machine is shown turning the nuts into peanut butter while workers fill glass jars with the product. A separate machine fits lids onto the jars. Next, the jars are labelled and cleaned by hand in preparation for delivery. The clip ends with a shot of 'ETA’ company trucks leaving the factory.
Summary by Poppy De Souza
This clip begins with the narrator emphasising the work of the 'skilled operators’ and then the 'automatic’ methods involved in making peanut butter. The shift from the human to the automatic is reinforced by how the camera records the action. First, we see the individual female workers sorting through peanuts. Later, the narration and framing serves to de-personalise the work and focus on process rather than person. For instance, the narrator says 'a final inspection cleans the jar’ but the head of the woman doing the work is not shown.
Notes by Poppy De Souza