Mr. Watt’s Slight Innovation

Lead: There was not much of an Industrial Revolution until a slight improvement by the Scottish inventor, James Watt.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Industrial progress is marked by long series of bottlenecks overcome by small but clever innovations. For centuries the main product of England was wool. First in raw form, cut from English sheep and shipped to the factories of the Netherlands, and later fabricated in English shops into simple woolen clothing. By 1700 the added popularity of cotton clothing created an opportunity. Already the machinery had been invented which could take raw cotton and wool and make cheap clothing for the mass market, but to operate those machines required energy. Primitive factories used water wheels turned by swiftly moving streams and rivers but there were just so many usable water sources around. Perhaps it was thought this first great modern energy crisis could be resolved by steam power.

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Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment III

A single vote saved Andrew Johnson from disgrace.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1865 President Johnson wanted to quickly ease the South back into the national mainstream, but his stubbornness and irascible disposition complicated his ability in facing an array of opponents, the most formidable of which were the Radical Republicans. Led by Benjamin Wade and Charles Sumner in the Senate and Thaddeus Stevens in the House, the radicals were determined to treat the South as if it were conquered territory. In addition, they wished to force full citizenship for blacks on a South filled with whites who up to then considered African Americans to be hardly human beings, much less persons worthy of civil rights. Also, the radicals knew that Southerners, many of whom had advocated secession and brought about the war, would probably help elect a Democratic majority in Congress, which would defeat the radical program.

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Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment II

Lead: Andrew Johnson remains the only American President tried by the Senate after impeachment. His troubles may have been due to who he was and from where he came. 

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

Content: Born in North Carolina, as a teenager Andrew Johnson moved across the mountains to Greenville, Tennessee and there established a successful tailoring business and a career in politics. He was elected a U.S. Senator in 1857. Johnson was a product of the powerful historic divisions in Tennessee politics. It is a long way from the scrabble farms near Johnson City in the east Tennessee Appalachian foothills to the plantations around Memphis overlooking the Mississippi River. For years the slave-owning planters in the west had dominated Tennessee politics. In the east farms were smaller, slaves were fewer, and the planter class was bitterly resented. When the west led the state into the Confederacy, eastern Tennesseans remained largely loyal to the Union. Andrew Johnson, faithful to his eastern Tennessee roots, was the only Southern senator to remain in Washington after 1861. 

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Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment I

Lead: Andrew Johnson's loyalty to the Union during the Civil War landed him in the White House but Abraham Lincoln he was not.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Andrew Johnson stayed in Washington after 1861 and then ran as a Democrat with Republican Abraham Lincoln on the National Union Party ticket in 1864. They won, but shortly thereafter the President was assassinated.

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Battle for Color TV II

Lead: In the 1940s two corporate giants, NBC and CBS, fought over the means of broadcasting television in color.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After World War II, NBC under its chairman, David Sarnoff, had begun commercial black and white television broadcasts and was selling TVs by the truckload. Its great rival, William Paley’s CBS, was producing Black and White shows such as Ed Sullivan but at the same was experimenting with color television in hopes of getting a jump on the competition. The problem was the CBS color system used a spinning wheel with color filters in the camera and in the TV set and produced a signal which could not be received by existing black and white TVs without a relatively expensive converter. Sarnoff had too many sets out there to give up his advantage and began a campaign to smear the CBS system. NBC was working on an all-electronic color system, without the cumbersome spinning wheels, but which they thought would not be ready for years. By 1950 CBS was ready and had applied to the Federal Communications Commission to designate its system as the only standard. Both sides were at it now. Secret meetings with congressmen, lobbying, accusations in the media. Millions were at stake. Finally, the FCC approved CBS color in October 1950 and the courts struck down NBC’s court challenge. The problem was, not a single CBS color set had been sold, just a lot of useless black and white sets.

 

 

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Battle for Color TV I

Lead: If Peter Goldmark had had his way, television would have never been broadcast in black and white.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By the late 1920s most of the technical problems of TV broadcasting were solved. A way had been found to convert light into electricity. The transmission of this electrical signal would be done just like radio, but the major obstacle proved to be the way in which the signal would picked up or scanned. Television is in many ways similar to a motion picture. Characters in a movie don’t move. Motion picture film is simply a series of still photographs put end to end and run so fast across the screen that the mind of the viewer gets the impression of movement. Television operates in basically the same way. Hundreds of frozen images per second are picked up or scanned by the camera, converted to electricity, and then sent on to the TV set which sits the next room or fifty miles away and reconverts the signal.

 

 

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Marconi’s First Transatlantic Transmission

Lead: At the end of 1901, twenty-seven year old Guglielmo Marconi made the first transatlantic wireless transmission, but his outstanding achievement, like so many of the breakthroughs of science, built on the discoveries of others.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For generations prior to Marconi’s historic transmission, science had known that electrical current emanating from telegraph wires could excite or energize metallic objects at not-inconsiderable distances. This phenomenon was given theoretical credence in an 1865 essay by English physicist, James Clerk Maxwell, who posited that electrical impulses travel through space in waves in a manner quite similar to light waves and at the same speed. In the 1880s German scientist Heinrich Hertz proved that electrical current could be manipulated and transmitted at will between non-connected objects through a special medium he called the ether.

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British General Strike of 1926 IV

Lead:  In the spring of 1926 Britain endured the only General Strike in its history.

Tag: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: Labor leaders were frustrated. Led by Walter Citrine of the Trades Union Congress, they wanted to work out a settlement of the looming strike of the mine workers and the possibility of a national sympathy strike, but radical rank and file workers pushed for a confrontation. The conservative government of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin was clearly on the mine owners’ side and had used a nine-month cooling off period to prepare. Labor was not prepared, but when the mine owners locked out their workers and a million of them went on strike, on May 3, 1926, a million and a half transportation, electric, steel and dock workers followed right behind. It was the only time in British history when the vast majority of organized industrial workers gave support to another group of workers for more than one day.

 

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