Modern Marvels

Season 12 Episode 47

Wiring America

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Aug 31, 2005 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Wiring America
We begin with electrical linemen perched precariously out a helicopter door, repairing 345,000-volt high-tension power lines. They are part of an army of technicians and scientists we'll ride, climb, and crawl with on this episode. They risk their lives so that we can have the services we take for granted--electric power and 21st century communications. They lay and maintain the wire that connects us one to another, as well as America to the rest of the world. The hardwiring of America is a story that is nearly two centuries old. And though satellites and wireless systems may be challenging the wire, it's not dead. Fiber optic cable, lines that transmit light, became a player in information delivery in the late 1970s. We may be entering a "wireless" age, but the infrastructure of wires laid by visionary scientists and industrialists are still vital to America. Wire technology will be with us, continuing to provide service, well into the next century.moreless
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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (4)

      • Len Kleinrock claims he committed the first illegal act on the internet in 1973, when he made an online request for the return of his electric razor from a conference in England. At that time, personal use of the internet was forbidden.

      • In 1930, about 10 percent of farms in the United States were wired for electricity. By 1946, that number had grown to 50 percent.

      • On February 14, 1876, both Alexander Graham Bell and his competitor, Elisha Gray, filed paperwork at the U.S. Patent Office for the telephone. Bell beat Gray in filing by just a few hours.

      • One 7,500-pound coil of copper rod less than a half inch in diameter can be stretched into a single wire just thicker than a human hair and enough to wrap around the earth nearly five times.

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Narrator: Power lines, communications lines crossing over our heads and under our feet, bringing us energy and vital information. Many have risked their lives, many have lost their lives in the ongoing task of keeping the country connected. Now, Wiring America, on Modern Marvels.

    • NOTES (1)

      • Joseph Henry (archival footage)

        Samuel F. B. Morse (archival footage)

        Abraham Lincoln (archival footage)

        Alexander Graham Bell (archival footage)

        Thomas Edison (archival footage)

        George Westinghouse (archival footage)

        Franklin D. Roosevelt (archival footage)

        Doug Wieck
        Line Worker, Verizon

        Brandon Cundiff
        Line Worker, USA Airmobile

        Doug Lane
        Line Worker, USA Airmobile

        Charles Giancarlo
        Chief Tech Officer, Cisco Systems

        Barney Finn
        Curator Emeritus, Smithsonian Inst.

        Jim Stoughton
        Sr. Manufacturing Engineer, Belden CDT

        David Hochfelder, PhD
        Thomas A. Edison Papers, Rutgers Univ.

        Hal Wallace
        Assoc. Curator, Smithsonian Inst.

        Joseph O'Donnell
        Software Engineer, Cisco Systems

        Prof. Thomas Hughes, PhD
        History of Science, U. of Pennsylvania

        Amy Friedlander
        Author, "Power and Light"

        Prof. Leonard Kleinrock, PhD
        Computer Science, UCLA

        Mitch Waldrop, PhD
        Author, "The Dream Machine"

        Chris Logie
        Electrical Mechanical Engineer, LADWP

        Dave Hooper
        Plant Manager, Belden CDT

        Shaun Miller
        Manufacturing Engineer, Belden CDT

        Executive Producer: Don Cambou
        Producer: Dave Garrison
        Line Producer: Paul Dzilvelis
        Associate Producer: Aliza Pollack
        Editor: Motoshi Wakabayashi
        Narrator: Max Raphael
        Music: Alan Ett Music Group
        Producer: Bruce Nash
        Creator: Bruce Nash
        Production Manager: Shelia Collins
        Post Producer: Tim Knauff
        Clearance Supervisor: Katie Del Core
        Director of Research: Allison Boon
        Production Controller: Dani Eslin
        Accountant: Sheridan Liu
        Accountant: Lisa Casella
        Accountant: Paulette Pantoja
        Researcher: Uldis Balodis
        Researcher: John Knapp
        Coordinator: Terrence Hartwell
        Coordinator: Brad Skiles
        Voice over Coordinator: John Knapp
        Assistant Editor: Laura Steinhoff
        Assistant Editor: Josh Beckham
        Assistant Post Coordinator: Alexander Rubinow
        Post Assistant: Gaylen Kobayashi
        Post Assistant: Kevin McCartney
        Camera: Scott Bayer
        Camera: Raul Casares
        Camera: Julio Luzquinos
        Camera: Lon Magdich
        Camera: Kelley R. Marchall
        Camera: Ian Saldyga
        Field Audio: Scott Akin
        Field Audio: Matt Bowman
        Field Audio: Tom Craca
        Field Audio: Ed Fritz
        Field Audio: Richard Harris
        Online Editor: John Price
        Sound Mixer: Ed Thacker
        Animation: Randall Rickert
        Animated Maps: Red Gypsy Animation
        Animated Stillls: Adam Goodwin
        Historical Consultant: David Hochfelder
        Historical Consultant: Dr. Leonard Kleinrock
        Historical Consultant: Hal Wallace

        Special Thanks:
        Digital Ranch
        Dr. Leonard Kleinrock
        Joseph O'Donnell
        Mitch Waldrop

        Supervisor Producer: Doug Gordon

        Executive Producer: Beth Dietrich-Segarra
        Produced by Actuality Productions, INC

    • ALLUSIONS (0)