Mr. Watt’s Slight Innovation

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

Intro.: 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.

Matthew Brady II

Lead: During the Civil War the images of Matthew Brady and his associates lent vivid reality to the horror of conflict.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having made his reputation photographing notable figures in the prewar generation, when conflict broke out in 1861, Matthew Brady went to war. Determined to make a complete record of the war, he hired more than a dozen photographers and sent them out as field operatives to mark the passage of the fighting. They used the collodion "wet-plate" process which fixed the image on a thick glass negative. This method required the subject to pose for only a brief period, but still could not capture action or physical movement.

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Matthew Brady I

 Lead: Matthew Brady made good on his vow to photograph many of the famous people of his generation.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Brady learned the technique of photography from Samuel F. B. Morse, artist and inventor of the telegraph. At first he used a process perfected in 1837 in France by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre. Over the next few decades, the daguerreotype was gradually replaced by the collodion wet-plate process which was more efficient.

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Scott Joplin II

Lead: Having reached maturity as a composer and fully established as a ragtime musician, Scott Joplin produced what some consider the first great American opera.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: By the first decade of the 20th century, Scott Joplin had become a celebrated composer and performer. His compositions were sold and played widely and his reputation as a performer was on the rise. During that decade he was also putting his hand toward his original opera, Treemonisha (1911). The themes of this work are loosely autobiographical though the story is unique. Living in a small rural community of former slaves, Monisha and Ted discover an abandoned infant under a tree and raise her as their own giving her the name memorialized in the opera. Like Joplin, her parents arrange for her to be educated by a white family in exchange for manual labor. The girl emerges from childhood to take a place of leadership in the community.

Scott Joplin I

Lead: Born during Reconstruction, Scott Joplin became a role model for talented black musicians as the Ragtime era blended into the Age of Jazz.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Joplin was born in northeast Texas in 1868 to a laboring family suffering the abuse that was the lot of blacks at the hand of whites humiliated by the loss of the civil war and the Reconstruction regime imposed by the Federal government. He grew up in Texarkana. His parents were musically inclined and insured his exposure to church music. This aroused in him an early hunger to perform, eventually mastering guitar, cornet, and piano. His constant practicing enhanced Joplin’s natural talent which was only enriched by his German-born teacher Julius Weiss, who was so impressed with Joplin’s prospects that he gave him free lessons in advanced harmony, sight-reading, and musical theory. Though he was being schooled in the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin, his first love was in the syncopated rhythms of ragtime.

American Revolution: Stamp Act Crisis III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The author of the Stamp Act (1765) and the Sugar Act (1764) was George Grenville, but his time as chief minister was cut short. Apparently he embarrassed and thus displeased King George III in a Parliamentary dispute over the Queen Mother’s membership in a Regency Council set up to conduct royal affairs in the case of the King’s death or incapacity. His replacement was Lord Rockingham, ably assisted by his secretary Edmund Burke, member from Bristol whose sympathy for the Americans was well-known. The Rockingham ministry enjoyed weak support in the House of Commons, but perhaps its greatest accomplishment was the repeal of the Stamp and Sugar Acts.

American Revolution: Stamp Act Crisis II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The Stamp Act of 1765 was marked by an eruption of civil unrest theretofore unheard of in America. In colony after colony, stamp collectors were burned in effigy and then forced to resign their commissions, sometimes before even receiving them. Shipments of the stamped paper were destroyed. Alleged supporters of the Stamp levy found themselves threatened by mob action and their property put at risk. In August Lt. Governor Thomas Hutchinson’s beautiful brick home in Boston was methodically taken apart by a mob and everything moveable was stolen. They even ripped up the slate roof. From New Hampshire to George opponents of the Act took exquisite pains to demonstrate their revulsion to Parliament’s action. Widespread calls for a boycott of British goods began to gather support and soon a marked decline in cross-oceanic business activity began to pinch merchants and manufacturers in the mother country.

American Revolution: Stamp Act Crisis I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: George Grenville, Chief Minister to King George III, was trying to manage a looming British financial crisis, but primarily was looking for money to pay for British troops based in America. Having levied a tax on the molasses used to make colonial rum, he wanted more money. Therefore, in 1764 he began hinting that Americans should pay for the paper used to transact legal business in the colonies. No such official dealings could be conducted on paper not bearing a governmental stamp. The government would sell the paper to the colonists and by this raise money for the troops. Colonial representatives were beyond emphatic that this stamp tax would be met with resentment and resistance. Grenville even toyed with the colonies by seeming to seek their input on the method of collection, but in the end it became clear that he was just being disingenuous and was determined to levy the stamp tax no matter what.