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Understanding the World's Greatest Structures

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Objectified - Manufactured Objects and their Designers
Explore our complex relationship with manufactured objects and the people who design them. OBJECTIFIED is a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It's about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured…
Ken Burns: The Brooklyn Bridge
PBS
The "Great East River Bridge" was the largest bridge of its era, a technical achievement of unparalleled scope, marked by enormous construction problems, equally ingenious solutions and heroic human achievement. In unexpected and wonderful ways, the Brooklyn Bridge captured the…
Tesla - Master of Lightning
PBS
This program recounts the life of scientist, inventor, and visionary Nikola Tesla, often remembered as more of an eccentric cult figure than an electrical engineering genius. Many of his achievements are still attributed to contemporaries Thomas Edison and Guglielmo Marconi.…
Ken Burns: Mark Twain - Part 1
PBS
In his time, Mark Twain was considered the funniest man on earth. Yet he was also an unflinching critic of human nature, using his humor to attack hypocrisy, greed and racism. In this series, Ken Burns has created an illuminating…
Hagia Sophia - Istanbul's Mystery
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
Whether serving as Christian church, Islamic mosque, or secular museum, Hagia Sophia and its soaring dome have inspired reverence and awe. For 800 years, it was the largest enclosed building in the world--the Statue of Liberty can fit beneath its…
I Dream of Wires
I Dream of Wires is a documentary about the rise, fall and rebirth of the machine that shaped electronic music: the modular synthesizer. The film explores the synthesizer's remarkable history, revealing how innovators like Robert Moog, working at Columbia University's…
Ken Burns: Empire of the Air - The Men Who Made Radio
PBS
For 50 years radio dominated the airwaves and the American consciousness as the first "mass medium." In Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, Ken Burns examines the lives of three extraordinary men who shared the primary responsibility…
Secrets of the Parthenon
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
For 25 centuries the Parthenon has been shot at, set on fire, rocked by earthquakes, looted for its sculptures, almost destroyed by explosion, and disfigured by well-meaning renovations. It has gone from temple, to church, to mosque, to munitions dump.…
10 Buildings That Changed America
PBS
10 Buildings That Changed America tells the stories of ten influential works of architecture, the people who imagined them, and the way these landmarks ushered in innovative cultural shifts throughout our society. From American architectural stalwarts like Louis Sullivan and…
Silicon Run I
Part of the Series: Silicon Run Series
Silicon Run I uses live industrial footage to show the many processes necessary to manufacture microchips, including crystal growth, circuit design, and the wafer fabrication process for CMOS technology. Using close-ups of manufacturing processes and device animation, Silicon Run I…
Ken Burns: Mark Twain - Part 2
PBS
In his time, Mark Twain was considered the funniest man on earth. Yet he was also an unflinching critic of human nature, using his humor to attack hypocrisy, greed and racism. In this series, Ken Burns has created an illuminating…
Understanding the World's Greatest Structures - Science and Innovation from Antiquity to Modernity Course
The Giza pyramids. Brunelleschi's dome. The Brooklyn Bridge. Each of these structures is iconic. They are visited by millions of people each year because they provoke a sense of awe and wonder. They are as beautiful to behold as they…
24 videos
Linotype - Revolutionizing Printing and Society
Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the "Eighth Wonder of the World" by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society. The film tells the charming and emotional story of the people…
The Rise and Fall of Penn Station
Part of the Series: American Experience
PBS
In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad successfully accomplished the enormous engineering feat of building tunnels under New York City's Hudson and East Rivers, connecting the railroad to New York and New England, knitting together the entire eastern half of the United…
Colosseum - Roman Death Trap
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
The Colosseum is a monument to Roman imperial power and cruelty. Its graceful lines and harmonious proportions concealed a highly efficient design and advanced construction methods that made hundreds of arches out of 100,000 tons of stone. In its elliptical…
Secrets of Stonehenge
Part of the Series: NOVA
PBS
Dated to the late Stone Age, Stonehenge may be the best-known and most mysterious relic of prehistory. Every year, a million visitors are drawn to England to gaze upon the famous circle of stones, but the monument's meaning has continued…
MEMS: Making Micro Machines
MEMS: Making Micro Machines is an overview of the manufacture and design of microelectromechanical systems. This video shows the fabrication, testing and packaging, and design of some of our most common MEMS devices. It features the fabrication of Hewlett-Packard's thermal…
User-Centered Design
Episode 25 of Everyday Engineering
Using the faucet as an example, study the bewildering number of ways that hot and cold water can be delivered into a sink, reflecting the challenges of designing everyday things. Along the way, consider the principles that go into a…
Le Cabanon par Le Corbusier
The wooden cabin situated in the hillside of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the French Riviera was to serve as a model for minimal living. However, when architect and painter Le Corbusier sketched his Thoreau-like hut in December 1951, he did so in…
Villa Mairea
On the eve of the Second World War, Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898 - 1976) designed the Villa Mairea for his close friends, Maire and Harry Gullichsen, in Noormarkku near the west coast of Finland. Located in a pine forest…