Segments in this Video

Major Power Breakthroughs (02:37)


Power topics are introduced. The steam engine, electrical generator, and steam turbine will be covered in this program.

Dracks Manufacturing Plant (02:15)

The steam engine turned heat energy into usable power. Coal is the primary source of power at Dracks.

Steam Engine Demonstration (03:56)

The first practical engine was powered by steam. Learn how steam was used the "wrong" way to create pressure.

Atmospheric Steam Engine (03:09)

Thomas Newcomen used coal to create steam and provide the first reliable power source for mining.

Separate Condenser (02:36)

In 1763, James Watt was asked to repair a Newcomen engine. He experimented with the model and developed a better way to get power from steam.

Demonstration of Watt's Condenser (01:53)

A working model of the Newcomen engine is used for comparison to show the usefulness of a separate condenser.

Efficiency and Patents (03:12)

Energy is the most important factor in power. Coal is stored at Dracks. Bolton and Watt charged royalties on the efficiency of their engines. Patents stifled innovation.

Social Revolution (02:30)

In the 19th century, people began operating efficient manufacturing machines. Jobs were created outside of the home and working people could afford to buy products.

Heroes of Invention (01:59)

Inventors were not seen in a positive light until the 19th century. James Watts was the first to receive public support.

Original Battery (02:30)

Electricity provided a means to separate the engine from the place the power is used. Faraday carried out revolutionary experiments in electricity.

First Electric Motor (03:07)

Faraday showed that electricity, magnetism, and motion are linked. A demonstration shows that human energy can generate the power needed to light a bulb.

Electric Generator (02:25)

A generator uses its mechanical energy supply to it to induce energy. Learn the differences between the modern generators used at Dracks and the hand held generator made by Faraday.

Electricity in the Victorian Era (02:18)

The Savoy Theater in London became the first public building to fully exploit electricity. Thomas Edison realized there was money to be made by selling light bulbs and electricity.

Compound Turbine (05:35)

Early stations were powered by rotary motion. Faraday's Dynamo was limited by the engines that powered it. In 1883, Charles Parsons observed the inefficiency of a two-step engine.

Power Source (02:52)

Learn how a giant turbine operates. All the power generated by Dracks is sent through cables to power cities.

Addressing Finite Resources (01:54)

Efficient devices are needed to meet the modern demand for power.

Alternative Fuel (02:43)

Dracks is preparing to convert to a new type of fuel to reduce pollution. Biomass will replace coal.

Summary and Preview (00:33)

Reflect on power technology and learn what is to come on the next episode.

Credits: Power: Genius of Inventions—Ideas That Changed the World (00:41)

Credits: Power: Genius of Inventions—Ideas That Changed the World

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Power: The Genius of Invention—Ideas That Changed the World

Part of the Series : The Genius of Invention: Ideas That Changed the World
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



In the first episode, the team tell the story of the handful of extraordinary inventors and inventions who helped build the modern world by understanding, harnessing, and using power. Coming from Dracks, the U.K.’s largest power station, it tells the amazing story of three of the greatest and most transformative inventions of all time: the steam engine, the electrical generator, and the steam turbine. A BBC Production. A part of the series The Genius of Invention: Ideas That Changed the World.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL57494

ISBN: 978-0-81609-392-2

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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