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Video Archive: Video Series #1

copier copier

Copier

Bill uses power tools to take apart a photocopier. He shows how it works, and shares the story of its invention by Chester Carlson.

Copier
chair chair

The Chair

Bill asks the question "Why a chair?" ... the answer reveals the human aspects of engineering design. It takes multiple Bills to tell the story.

chair
geiger bulb

Light bulbs

Bill reads from his book of fairy tales. He tells the story of the engineering of a light bulb, focusing on the materials breakthrough needed to make the filament.

Light bulb
copper garbage

Garbage

Bill covers his office floor with trash to see what takes up space in a landfill. He digs through fast food containers and diapers to learn that what we really need is green design of our manufactured objects.

Garbage
copper copper

Copper

Using a pair of cutters to extract a copper pipe from the ceiling, Bill shows how copper is the "miracle metal" that gives us safe drinking water, and makes our electronic world possible.

Copper
match match

Matches

Bill reveals the importance of matches in the 19th century; he shares how adding phosphorous to them revolutionized life - in both good and bad ways.

match
concrete concrete

Concrete

Bill moves a piece of sewer pipe into his office to show how important the ancient material concrete is to our modern world. It, of course, wreaks havoc on his office.

Concrete
Golfball golfball

Golfball

Bill uses his giant chopper to search for the perfect golfball. He reveals the amazing creativity of engineers.

Golfball
geiger geiger

Geiger Counter

Bill sings a song - with help from Doris Day - about the geiger counter. He shows that scientist Hans Geiger became an engineer when he designed the counter as a tool to make his life easier.

Garbage

Plasma

Bill shows the impact of plasmas on our material world; he also impact his own material world using a large pair of wire cutters.

Plasma
Plasma plasma

Cell Phone

Bill visits a cell phone store to show why a cell phone looks like it does - he illustrates the six design principles used to create a phone.

Cell Phone
Cell Phone cell phone

Transistor

Bill examines the first transistor ever built. He explains how it works, and its impact on our world today. And, also, he even tests it out!

transistor
Transistor transistor

Tantalum

Using a large hammer Bill demonstrates how our electronics depends on an obscure chemical elements found half-way around the world.

Tantalum
Tantalum tantalum

Thermostat

Bill uses a pair of wire cutters to illustrate Henry Dreyfuss's great industrial designs.

Thermostat
Thermostat thermostat