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Understanding the World's Greatest Structures

Everyday Engineering: Understanding the Marvels of Daily Life

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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…
The Science of Structure - Forces in Balance
Episode 2 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
Explore how two types of external forces: loads (forces applied to structures) and reactions (forces developed at supports, in response to applied loads): act on structures such as Kansas City's Chouteau Bridge. Also, learn how these forces are related to…
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…
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.…
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…
10 Towns that Changed America - Towns Designed from the Ground Up
PBS
10 Towns that Changed America focuses on ten "experimental" towns that did not evolve organically over time, but instead were designed (or redesigned) from the ground up by visionary architects, corporations, and citizens, who sought to change the lives of…
Learning to See and Understand Structure
Episode 1 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
How are ideas for buildings, bridges, and towers transformed from sketches to concrete reality? What are the three essential qualities that make a structure great? What's the difference between seeing a structure and actually understanding it?
The Bridge (Constructing Australia Series)
Part of the Series: Constructing Australia
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, this is the definitive story of how a giant steel arch resembling a coat hanger became one of world's most recognised structures and an engineering triumph. Massive, majestic and breathtaking, the…
Ken Burns: Mark Twain
Part of the Series: Ken Burns America
PBS
Mark Twain was a lifelong creator and keeper of scrapbooks. He took them with him everywhere and filled them with souvenirs, pictures, and articles about his books and performances. But in time, he grew tired of the lost glue, rock-hard…
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: Empire of the Air - The Men Who Made Radio
Part of the Series: Ken Burns America
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…
Deepwater Disaster - The Untold Story
Part of the Series: Horizon
BBC
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is one of the world's biggest environmental disasters. Horizon reveals the untold story of the 87-day battle to kill the oil blowout a mile beneath the waves. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster sent millions…
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…
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…
CERN - Recreating the Big Bang
CERN is a self-contained, independent research zone -- a parallel universe so to speak. Here the big bang scenario is recreated, searching for the smallest particle. Nikolaus Geyrhalter's documentary gives an impression of the huge infrastructure which makes an institution…
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…
The Sewer King
Part of the Series: Seven Wonders of the Industrial World
BBC
Seven Wonders of the Industrial World - The Sewer King - Episode 4 In the hot summer of 1858, a window was opened in the Houses of Parliament and Britain's great government suddenly ground to a halt. Disraeli and other…
Big Dream - Young Women Entering STEM Fields
This film follows the intimate stories of seven young women who are breaking barriers and overcoming personal challenges to follow their passion in science, math, computing & engineering (STEM) fields. Through video diaries and verite moments, each of these girls…
Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways
BBC
Dan Snow presents this three-part documentary series on the history of railways. Snow explores how Britain's railway has developed over the years from track-ways used for coal carts in the early 18th century to metal tracks, steam locomotives and the…
3 videos
Loads and Structural Systems
Episode 9 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
Structures are heavily influenced by the loads they're designed to carry. First, take a closer look at the most important loads structures must resist, including traffic loads and earthquake loads. Then, using the historic iron building at Watervliet Arsenal in…