In 1626, Dutch traders bought Manhattan for $24 of beads and gift product. Within 30 years, there were 1,000 residents, and 300 years later, there were 8 million. This film celebrates the muscle, size, and majesty of Manhattan, starting at the river's edge where a huge-jawed steam shovel dredges. It's on to an ocean liner, then to a hole in the ground where men swing pickaxes, sledgehammers, and shovels. The camera then slowly examines a stately building by the shore. Behind and beside it is the city.