'Hauling in a Minesweeping Cable', c 1916.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of sailors pulling in a minesweeping cable, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1916. This photograph is from an album entitled 'Britain Prepared', prepared by Charles Urban (1867-1942) under the patronage of King George V and Queen Mary. Wrapped in oilskins against the weather this sailor still look unhapy as he winds in a cable designed to detonate mines. The American Charles Urban was an influential figure in early British cinematography. He developed his own projection system, the Bioscope, in 1896. Moving to England in 1897 he began to make his own films, establishing a strong reputation for producing documentary, travel and news films. Together with George Albert Smith (1864-1959) Urban developed Kinemacolor in 1908. This was the first successful natural motion picture colour system, used in 1911 to make the film 'Delhi Durbar'. During World War One Urban produced the propaganda films, including the documentary 'Britain Prepared' in 1915 and 'The Battle of