"The Seven Wonders Of The Industrial World" focuses on some of the most ambitious engineering achievements ever undertaken. Six out of the seven were done in the 19th century with only the construction of the Hoover Dam in the USA being a 20th century project. Taken in chronological order, (though not in the order they were televised), they were 1.The Bell Rock Lighthouse. It was built under the guidance & religious zeal of Robert Stevenson. Lying 12 miles off the west coast of Scotland, many ships & lives had been lost around its treacherous waters. 2.The Sewer King. The construction of London's sewer system was masterminded by Joseph Bazalgette. The Thames river had become so terribly polluted that by the hot summer of 1851 it had caused "The Great Stink" forcing parliament to take action. 3. The Great Ship. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel to circumnavigate the globe & carry sufficient fuel to do so, the ship named "The Great Eastern" was way ahead of its time. 4. The Transcontinental Railway. To connect the east & west coasts of the USA by rail had been a dream of Abraham Lincoln's before his assassination. 5. The Brooklyn Bridge. Begun by John Roebling & completed by his son Washington Roebling it was an ambitious & very dangerous undertaking. Work on the bridge's foundations had caused many deaths & illness from what is now called "the bends". After Washington, himself, became seriously ill his wife Emily stepped in. She had familiarised herself with every aspect of her husband's work & devotedly saw it through to completion. 6. The Panama Canal. It was begun by the french engineer Ferdinand De Lesseps (who had already overseen the construction of the Suez Canal) in the late 19th century until financial & many other problems forced him to abandon it. President Theodore Roosevelt saw the paramount importance to shipping of an Atlantic/Pacific Ocean connection & engaged railroad engineer John Frank Stevens to complete the project in the early 20th century. 7. The Hoover Dam. It was realised by around 1900 that the damming of the fast-flowing Colorado river could provide hydro-electric power to develop the barren near-desert area of Arizona. After careful study of various possible locations a site was chosen & president Calvin Coolidge gave it the green light in 1928. In this documentary the actors & actresses playing the leading roles of the various people involved in all these undertakings are using historical documents as their source material.
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