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Documentary - Seven Wonders Of The Industrial World

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Seven Wonders Of The Industrial World
BBC / Warner Home Video 2008
340 minutes

If there is one thing to learn from Seven Wonders Of The Industrial is many of the engineers who thought of and created these wonders were fair and honest bosses. They toiled not only to create a great architectural wonder but to also cause the loss of as few lives as possible during its creation.

The exceptions to this rule are both American: the men behind the U.S transcontinental railroad and Frank Crowe, engineer of the Hoover Dam.

The seven wonders of the industrial world are the SS Great Eastern, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Bell Rock Lighthouse in Scotland, the London sewer system, the U.S transcontinental railroad, the Panama Canal, and the Hoover Dam.

Each program is a movie style recreation with a bit of biographical documentary thrown in. Small budget CGI sometimes based on photographs and sketches of the times is used to recreate some of the visuals. Simulated film footage is also used quite artfully. This makes the creation of each of these wonders that much more visually interesting.

The programs themselves are quite interesting. Anyone who likes history and biographies will enjoy this DVD.

The better programs on the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World DVD are the Brooklyn Bridge, the London sewer system.

The lesser programs are those on the Bell Rock lighthouse and the SS Great Eastern.

This could be because these are the least known of the seven wonders, the Great Eastern having sailed only 30 years and the lighthouse being in the middle of the ocean.

The program on the U.S transcontinental railroad is the darkest, least pc, most violent program. It is the only one really not appropriate for family viewing or classroom use. It is, however, an excellent segment.

Any engineer working on a project today would do well to watch these shows. A few lessons can be learned about doing your work correctly and not just repeating what has been done in the past.

Officials could also learn a few lessons about getting in the way of competent people and not trying to grease their own pockets or their friends'.

Of course, there is always someone trying to ride on the real genius' coattails, get credit where no credit is due, or make a quick buck without doing the work.

It is also fascinating to see how much faster work was done way back when with much fewer tools and inventions.

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