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Photograph - Cooling tower under construction
  • Cooling tower under construction
    Broomfield, Maurice, born 1916 - died 2010
  • Enlarge image

Cooling tower under construction

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Cumbria (Calder Hall Nuclear Power Station, Cumbria, photographed)

  • Date:

    1954 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Broomfield, Maurice, born 1916 - died 2010 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver gelatin print

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the artist

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case BLCG, shelf D

Maurice Broomfield (1916-2010) worked to photograph the changing face of British manufacturing industries during the 1950s and 1960s. His photographs are recognized for their uniquely modern design elements, humanist strain, and their contribution to the documentation of the rebirth of British industry in the post war era.

Physical description

A silver gelatin print of a factory worker looking down a cooling tower at three figures standing below.

Place of Origin

Cumbria (Calder Hall Nuclear Power Station, Cumbria, photographed)


1954 (photographed)


Broomfield, Maurice, born 1916 - died 2010 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Silver gelatin print

Marks and inscriptions

Signed by Maurice Broomfield, dated 1954. 5/25


Height: 611 mm, Width: 504 mm paper

Descriptive line

Photograph by Maurice Broomfield, 'Cooling Tower Under Construction', 1954, gelatin silver print, printed 1995

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Plate 12. Cooling Tower Under Construction
"The inside of a cooling tower under construction is an awesome sight. Positioning myself, straddling across two planks, was difficult. Cooling towers are not the most desirable things to fall into. This picture was exhibited in Rotterdam and later featured on Dutch television, accompanied with sound effects. I was more scared watching it than photographing it."
Calder Hall Nuclear Power Station, Cumbria (the site now known as Sellafield) during construction by Taylor Woodrow Construction Company, 1954
Maurice Broomfield, published by Foto8, 2009

Labels and date

Broomfield made his name as the premier photographer of post-war British industry. From the 1950s until the 70s he was regularly commissioned by companies such as English Electric, Ford, Shell and Philips.

Broomfield sought to elevate the figure of the worker. Through careful composition and strong lighting his photographs create a sense of the drama and atmosphere of labour. As manufacturing has turned to cheaper markets overseas, these photographs serve as a reminder of an important moment in Britain's industrial history. [20/03/2012]

Subjects depicted

Industrial location; Workplace; Factory workers; Cooling towers; Factory




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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