A Shell Forge at a National Projectile Factory, Hackney Marshes, London, 1918

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM ART 4032
Production date
Subject period
  • medium: oil
  • support: canvas
  • Support: Height 1828 mm
  • Support: Width 2133 mm
  • Frame: Height 2020 mm
  • Frame: Width 2320 mm
  • Frame: Depth 70 mm
Alternative Names
  • object category: painting

© IWM (Art.IWM ART 4032)

License Image
Object description

image: The interior view of a shell forge showing the glowing hot shell cases emerging from the furnaces on the left of the composition. Munitions workers man the furnaces on the left; in the foreground is the back of a worker leaning over a glowing hot shell case. Sunlight streams in though the windowless wall on the right of the forge.


This piece was a particular challenge for Airy who had to work with great speed to capture the colour of the molten shells. The tremendous heat of the interior added to the intensity, and one one occassion the ground became so hot that her shoes were burnt off her feet.

History note

Ministry of Information commission. Commission administration transferred to Imperial War Museum.



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