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Hands On History

Hands On History

A half-hour series that takes viewers step by step through the process in which the great technologies of the 21st century are used, and the great technologies of the past, upon which they are based, are explained. Host Ron Hazelton talks to the men and women in the field who know what it takes to get the job done.

Fighter Pilots
The host delves into the evolution of fighter pilots and engages in several activities including flying a navy biplane and going to flight school to learn the basics of combat.
The host explores how the parachute has played a vital role in WWI, and how it offers both entertainment and a life-saving utility.
The host traces and explores the evolution of wooden shipbuilding while working with sawyers, shipwrights, and other craftsmen who contribute to the tradition.
The host explores the process of manufacturing the oldest building material in the world, brick. He also restores bricks at Fort Sumter and drives a clay train.
The host explores the history of subways throughout the country. He also directs subways from a futuristic control room and drives a train through its downtown run.
The host tours to America's most famous highway, Route 66, to follow the evolution of road building. He also clears out a roadbed with a bulldozer and lays down an asphalt.
The host goes to work at a tire factory that produces 21 million passenger tires every year. He studies various stages of manufacturing tires, including mixing and curing process.
The host visits the Honda motorcycle factory in Marysville, Ohio, and joins the assembly line to put together components including the 6-cylinder engine and the handlebars.
The host goes to work as a crewman on a modern-day shrimp trawler and explores the evolution of shrimping all the way from the seine nets of a century ago to today's shrimp baiting.
Commercial Fishing
The host goes to sea on a boat to explore commercial fishing, America's most dangerous profession, and joins a crew of Gloucestermen as they leave the harbor in search of cod.
The host traces more than 200 years of headlines and history in the evolution of newspapers, beginning with the one-room office of the 'Aurora', a newspaper set up by Ben Franklin.
The host goes to the heart of Silicon Valley to trace the evolution of computer chips. He visits the Palo Alto garage, where Bill Hewlett and David Packard first made sound oscillators.
Bows And Arrows
At Hoyt USA and Easton Technical Products, the host assembles a compound bow, fletches an aluminum arrow and then takes target practice pointers from an Olympic champion.
At Winchester's ammunition factory in East Alton, the host stamps out brass shell cases, loads smokeless powder, and casts bullets. He visits the firing range to judge his ammo-making skills.
Oil Drilling
The host reviews the evolution of oil wells and uses state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology as he hunts and drills for oil.
Salt Mining
The host tackles the task of salt mining when he travels to Avery Island, Louisiana, home to the first salt mine in North America, and sets dangerous explosives in an underground city.
Cattle Ranching
The host goes roping and riding on a cattle ranch that's 175 years old. He drives cattle, dishes hash at the chuck wagon and learns the way of the cowboy.
Dairy Farming
The host follows the evolution of dairy farming all the way from the pasture to the refrigerator. He acquaints himself with the milking process and learns the latest mechanical methods.
The host explores the history of Corvettes and pays a visit to the General Motors Kentucky plant to examine the 2005 C6.
Cable Cars
The host drives a cable car through the streets of San Francisco; cable cars travel up and down the steep hills. Each of the 40 cars is a moving museum, an artefact of a bygone era.
At the US Mint, The host makes money starting with raw silver, melting it down into blanks, heating it to temperatures more than 1,000 degrees, and stamping it with a coin press.
The host traces the evolution of the steel industry from the pig iron of colonial forges to today's state-of-the-art equipment and visits the nation's oldest steel mill, Lukens, in Coatesville.
Fire Trucks
The host follows the evolution of fire trucks all the way from the horse-drawn steamers of a century ago to the state-of-the-art aerial apparatus used today.
Mack Trucks
Host Ron Hazelton examines the history and development of trucks when he visits the main factory of Mack Trucks, the oldest truck manufacturer in the country.
The host goes into the hardwood forests of northern New Hampshire, where he cuts, chops, and saws his way through the various stages of the lumber industry.
The host feeds the belching fire of the steam engine and pulls a train up into New Hampshire's picturesque White Mountains, taking a hands-on look at the evolution of locomotives.
Tracing the history and evolution of Billiards, the host visits the A E Schmidt Company in St Louis, Missouri, where he cuts, mills, and stains wood to create a classic table.
Louisville Slugger
The host traces the history and evolution of bat making and puts his hands on a Louisville Slugger, the official bat of Major League Baseball, which has been in business since 1882.
The host travels to Martin Guitars in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where guitars have been made since 1833, and traces the history and evolution of guitars.
Ice Cream
Exploring the history of ice creams, the host visits Fenton's Creamery, that has served Oakland since 1905, and Dreyer's ice cream factory in Union City, California.
The host goes on board with a tug crew working the Boston Harbour and learns the tricks of navigating the small but powerful tug as it pilots its much larger partner.
Cigarette Boats
The host travels to Opa Locka, Florida, to see how old world boat-making evolved to produce this highbrow dragster of the high seas.
Ski And Snowboards
The host traces the evolution of skiing from the Viking days to the post-war boom in the US and explores a modern factory run by Revolution Ski and Snowboard Company in Orem, Utah.
John Deere Tractors
The host visits the John Deere factory in Waterloo, Iowa, a 48-acre plant where workers assemble 17,000 parts to make the modern tractor.
The host climbs into Goodyear's gondola and flies above South Florida, tracing the evolution of blimps from their early days when Goodyear thought they would become personal flying yachts.
The host visits Batesville Casket Company, which offers coffins created in various materials including bronze, copper and stainless steel, to master the art and craft of the casket.
The host visits Harlan County, Kentucky, which was once home to more than 50 coal towns, mines by hand and explores how modern equipment has revolutionized the industry.
Iron Works
The host follows the evolution of ironworks from the blacksmith's hammer and anvil to the plasma arc cutter of the computer age.
The host goes to work at a Pennsylvania mill that has produced the paper for everything from Abraham Lincoln's re-election posters to copies of 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'.
The host builds different kinds of fireworks by hand at Zambelli, America's oldest and largest fireworks factory, located in New Castle, Pennsylvania.