Since 1928 Ilford has produced film photography products from its factory in Mobberley, England, though the company itself is much older. In this 18-minute video from Exploredinary, you can get a close, extended view of how the film is made and hear from the scientists and workers who make it happen.
Ilford is a United Kingdom-based manufacturer of photographic film, paper, and chemicals. Though originally founded in 1879, Ilford only took on that name in 1902, and the production of film at its factory in Mobberley only began in 1928. Prior to being called Ilford, the company was known as Britannia Works company, which originally made photographic plates. The name Ilford stems from the location of the Britannia Works company: Ilford, England. It is large town outside of London, and when the company decided to rename itself the Ilford Limited company in 1900, the local council at the time objected to the renaming. It would only gain the council’s approval two years later.
That same year, Ilford released its first camera, the Falling Plate magazine cut film camera, which some records suggest was in development since 1899.
Ilford has been producing and releasing new film products ever since and up till 2019 with the release of the 5th generation Ilford Multigrade RC Paper and Ortho film in 35mm and 120 roll film formats.
The company has been producing film products consistently through that time, with very few notable breaks, one of which came last year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company ceased operations for a 10 week period before resuming production of products on June 18, 2020.
The video above is one of the most detailed walkthroughs of Ilford’s factory and certainly worth the time to watch for any fans of Ilford’s products or film photography in general. If you’re curious how other film manufacturers operate, PetaPixel recently featured a similar look inside Kodak’s New York factory.
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