Archive for January, 1999
They are among the most romantic machines ever built, enormous craft held aloft by lighter-than-air gas trapped beneath their vast skins. In the 20th century, they have played a vital role in war, transportation and commerce and been involved in one of the most famous tragedies of all time. This episode tells the story of the inventors and innovations behind these fascinating flyers. Discover what distinguishes a blimp from a balloon from a zeppelin, and watch the footage of the Hindenburg’s fiery destruction in New Jersey. Find out how the lessons learned during the heyday of lighter-than-air travel are sewing the seeds for a renaissance today and go aboard the new breed of Zeppelin that is once again taking to the skies over Europe.
This episode goes behind the scenes of the world’s largest communication agency to show how the mail gets through. Follow a typical letter on a remarkable journey where human hands may only touch it twice. Learn how the Post Office has changed through the years and get an up-close look at the technology the modern Post Office relies on. Historians probe the long past of the agency and reveal its gaffes and triumphs, while archival footage recalls the glory days of twice-daily delivery. And Postmaster General Marvin Runyon offers a privileged view of today’s Post Office and the problems it faces as it prepares for a new millennium.