Modern Marvels: Cotton takes us on a journey from the California cotton fields to the textile mills of North Carolina, the cotton oil mills of Arkansas, and back to the garment factories of Los Angeles. The show focuses on the great technological developments in cotton's history, including: the cotton gin, spindle picker, cotton module builder, power loom, the evolution of yarn spinning technology... and of course the ingenious method that finally licked the boll weevil. Along the way, we'll survey cotton's remarkable knack for weaving itself into history... including...
Engineering disasters highlighted include a coal mine in China, a crane collapse in Milwaukee, ground water contaminated with gasoline additives, and the hazards of radiation. Also profiled are the environmental disasters that plagued the Salton Sea in California and the Aral Sea in Asia.
This program explains how some of the more popular candies are made starting with the raw ingredients through the production process. It all starts with chocolate then move on to red hots, jelly beans, salt water taffy licorice and some special candies just for adults.
Germany is portrayed as a nation leading the world in science and technology prior to World War Two. But it squandered this wealth of knowledge, which should have enabled it to win the war, because the high command was selective about those advances they would favor. Examples are provided of technologies that languished under Nazism but exploded into new industries when they reached other countries after the war.
Technology from the 1980s is remembered, including early cell phones and CD players; the Sony Walkman; and personal computers. Also: comments by Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak; and a tour of the Computer History Museum in California.
Some metals are so critical to the US economy the the Federal Government retains a strategic stock pile of them. This program describes how these metals are produced and what they are used for that make them so valuable: copper, iron, lead, nickel, uranium and zinc.
This program tells the story of the transformation of American coinage and currency from a haphazard mess that stunted economic growth to the advanced technology operated by the United States Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Intertwined with the history are explanations of processes used to manufacture our money.
The world's largest engineering feats are explored. Included: NASA's wind tunnel and flight simulator at the Ames Research Center in California; a continuous mining machine in Pennsylvania; the London Eye observation wheel in England. Also: the Claas Cougar lawn mower; and IMAX technology.
Water is examined as a natural wonder and as the substance that sustains life. Also studied is the technology it supports and which supports it. Included: irrigation systems; fountains; and the bottled-water industry.
Global problems require global solutions. Modern Marvels: Renewable Energy, a one-hour History Channel documentary, shows how the combined forces of wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, wave and tidal power are ready to move the world beyond oil, coal and other 19th Century technologies.
A history of distilleries and the process of distilling alcohol. Included: a visit to the Christian Brothers winery in California; and, in France, the Courvoisier cognac company and an absinthe distillery. Also: comments by Anthony Dias Blue from Bon Appetit magazine.
In America's orchards and farm fields, the constant struggle between hand labor and mechanization has produced dozens of efficient and sometimes bizarre harvesting methods. Learn the secrets of the orchard manager and his ladder crew as they check fruit pressures and barometric readings. Visit California's largest fruit packing house and try to keep up with 10-fruit-per-second conveyors. Then off to the corn fields of Nebraska and the cranberry marshes of central Wisconsin. Finally go underground to the world's largest mushroom farm where the harvest takes place in ...
An hour steeped in the history of tea includes a visit to the Lipton Tea plant in Suffolk, Va., the Charleston Tea Plantation in South Carolina and the Celestial Seasonings plant in Boulder, Colo.; a chronicle of the events that led to the Boston Tea Party; and a segment on gourmet teas.
To stimulate inter-island commerce Japan has an extensive bridge program to provide safer, more reliable transit across the treacherous waters served by ferries. The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge is the longest. This program chronicles the construction of the bridge and explains its unique design aspects including; prefabrication, type of concrete, construction techniques and the design of the anchors and main cables.
Rising from a stretch of desert with nothing but remoteness to recommend it, Vegas became a glittering wonderland for dreamers. Modern Marvels takes a look at the forces that made Las Vegas a place unlike any on earth.
Everything related to horsepower beginning with the definition of what exactly horsepower is and how it is measured. Profiled are some of the fastest, largest, most dangerous, and most powerful engines ever made.
This program focuses on the symbolic and historical aspects of the Empire State Building rather than its architecture and technology. The world's tallest building was preceded but a skyscraper construction boom in the roaring twenties that ironed out many of the challenges of building tall. Yet, despite being one of the only major construction projects in New York during the Great Depression, which generated considerable publicity, it remained controversial in a number of ways until the film "King Kong" made it a must see tourist destination and it survived a B-25 ...
It started as an idea at a French dinner party and became the very symbol of the free world. The story of France's gift to the US reveals a 20-year struggle to design and build the world's largest monument--using paper-thin copper sheets.
Chronicles one of the most incredible engineering feats of all time--the construction of the 51-mile canal that took 10 years to build and employed over 40,000 workers--6,000 of whom died of yellow fever, malaria, and other horrors.