In 1877, for the first time, voices, music, the barking of dogs–and all sorts of other sounds could be recorded, played back, and preserved for posterity. All through the marvel of the phonograph. Surprisingly the man who created the phonograph, Thomas Alva Edison, had no theoretical background in acoustics, and only a few months of formal schooling. And ironically, he was half deaf. Thomas Edison was not the first to record sound, but his competition with Alexander Graham Bell and other inventors led to the phonograph that created thousands of new jobs and gave birth to the music recording industry.
From the height of the Cold War to the ongoing threat of nuclear holocaust, trace the history of this iconic timepiece. When it first appeared, the hands showed seven minutes to midnight, indicating how close scientists believed the world was coming to doomsday. Over the years, the clock has been reset more than 17 times, as global events have heightened or lessened the risk of nuclear war. Now, History tells the story of this powerful symbol, detailing how artist Martyl Langsdorf, wife of a Manhattan Project physicist, was commissioned to create a symbol representing nuclear danger. Explore the events that led to the clock's two most extreme settings, and hear from the board in charge of changing the clock how they decide when to adjust it. Featuring footage from some of the most remarkable events of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, The Doomsday Clock is captivating look at the symbolic public warning system that has become a part of history.
For decades, the sound barrier loomed as an impenetrable wall against manned flight that buffeted planes with shock waves as they approached the speed of sound. Scientists thought the barrier couldn't be breached–until the development of jet technology and rocket fuel at the end of WWII. This is the dramatic story, told through the eyes of many who were there, of the work leading up to October 10, 1947, when 24-year-old test pilot Chuck Yeager smashed through the sound barrier in a Bell XS-1 aircraft.
During the 1920s and '30s in big cities and small towns alike, they earned a fierce reputation in a blaze of bullets. They were the best friends of criminals such as John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, Al Capone, and Bonnie and Clyde. The rise of the American gangster coincided with the proliferation of new weapons that put far more power into the hands of the bad guys and the law enforcement officers charged with stopping them than ever before.GANGSTER GUNS looks at the hardware that blasted its way into history and the folklore that surrounds the gangsters and outlaws of the 1920s and '30s.
Beneath the fierce commotion on the streets of the Big Apple lies an astonishing network of tunnels, turnstiles and technology. Subway boldly descends into this extraordinary labyrinth to find what really makes the wheels of this underground empire turn. A subterranean control tower houses a startling mix of antique technology side-by-side with the ultra-new. Experimental cars, subway disasters, construction miracles, greedy financiers: they're all part of the brute legend of the world's largest subway system. Hop aboard!
Part of Teddy Roosevelt's dream of making America a global power was realized through the construction of the Panama Canal. The French began construction in 1880 but nine years and 20,000 lives later they realized their plans were flawed and abandoned the project. Enter the bully Yank! First they controlled the diseases that had claimed so many construction worker's lives. Then they developed an innovative design for a series of "locks". Finally, their dogged determination paid off when they united the oceans on January 7, 1914. Here is the exciting history of this formidable wonder, including the ingenuity and enterprise behind its construction, and the admiration it still merits to this day.
They are the physical engines of America's money machine, secretive agencies that design and manufacture the greenbacks that keep the nation's and the world's economy moving. This episode ventures inside these vital fortresses for a privileged glimpse of the work of making money. From engraving to circulation, watch as fortunes are created in instants, and see how new bills are put into circulation. Hear from Philip N. Diehl, Director of the United States Mint, and Robert Chandler, a historian for Wells Fargo, as they trace the fascinating history of the government's money business. And discover what the future may hold for American currency.