Power on the Land

About the film

Power on the Land demonstrates how advances in technology and machinery have helped modernise agriculture.

Download this film


  • Release year - 1943
  • Director - Ralph Keene
  • Production company - Raylton, Verity Films
  • Cinematographer - Geoffrey Unsworth
  • Composer - Hubert Clifford
  • Narration - F. Grisewood
  • Editor - Peter Tanner
  • Sound recording - Al Rhind
  • Musical director - Muir Mathieson
  • Music played by - London Symphony Orchestra
  • Running time (minutes) - 15 mins 07 secs

Original description

Mechanisation of agriculture

'British agriculture is the most mechanised in the world. Root crops are picked by machinery; machines reap, bind and thresh the grain; the new mechanised methods of planting and watering vegetables are contrasted with the old. Land is reclaimed by machinery to meet today's need for increased food production.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1944)

Did you know?

  • The combine harvester seen from 12:35 is a Massey-Harris No. 21, the first self-propelled, mass-produced combine harvester.
  • The yellow tractor seen from 04:00 is a Caterpillar D2, produced from 1939-1957.
  • The women seen planting vegetables throughout Power on the Land were likely Land Girls — women who were employed by farmers when the usual male workers were called up to fight in the war.

All films are subject to the Creative Commons licence guidelines.

Learn more about how to use to the film archive.

You might also be interested in:

About the film archive

Learn about the history behind our documentary film archive from the 1940s.

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest updates and advice on applications, scholarships, visas and events.