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The Innovators: The Men Who Built America

The Innovators: The Men Who Built America

John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and JP Morgan rose from obscurity and in the process, built modern America. These men were not friends, but rivals in business and in life. They battled each other on their way to the top of the rich list and American society.

Their names hang on street signs, are etched into buildings and are a part of the fabric of American history. They created the American Dream and were the engine of capitalism as they transformed everything they touched in building the oil, rail, steel, shipping, automobile, and finance industries.

Their paths crossed repeatedly as they elected presidents, set economic policies and influenced major events of the 50 most formative years the United States has ever known. From the Civil War to the Great Depression and World War I, they led the way.

Using state of the art computer generated imagery that incorporates 12 million historical negatives, many made available for the first time by the Library of Congress, this series will bring back to life the world they knew and the one they created.

A New War Begins
As the nation attempts to rebuild following the destruction of the Civil War, Cornelius Vanderbilt is the first to see the need for unity to regain America's stature in the world.
Oil Strike
Kerosene is lighting America after dark in unprecedented ways. The demand for oil is sky high and Vanderbilt knows that oil can fill his trains. A young maverick oilman from Ohio does just that.
A Rivalry Is Born
Scott hires Andrew Carnegie to build a bridge over the Mississippi river to link East and West by train. Carnegie agrees, but doesn't know how he'll build a bridge strong enough.
Blood Is Spilled
Carnegie hires hatchet man Frick to help him achieve his goal of besting Rockefellar. The partnership seems promising, but Carnegie does not know that Frick is running his factories far beyond capacity.
A New Rival Emerges
While Carnegie and Rockefeller continue to battle, JP Morgan arrives on the scene and establishes a bank in New York City that has one goal: to further the technological advancements of America.
Owning It All
With an investment from Morgan, the Edison Electric Company is created and begins wiring homes in New York. But a rival, Nikola Tesla, soon emerges with a different technology for electric light.
Taking The White House
Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan have gone unmonitored for decades. They come together with a plan to buy the White House by donating modern-day equivalent of $30 million to Ohio Governor.
The New Machine
A young engineer named Henry Ford devises the plan for a gas-powered car. He targets the middle class with his new product and changes the landscape of America.