Crash of the Hindenburg II

Lead: Used as bombers during World War I, giant German lighter-than-air ships called Zeppelins were turned to commercial uses in the 1920s and 1930s.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: If one wanted to travel between continents in the early 1900s, there was one choice. You had to go by ship. While the dream of flight had been realized first by balloons and then by the Wright Brothers’ airplane, aircraft engines were not strong, efficient, or safe enough to lift cargo and passengers over long distances. For just over two short decades from World War I to the eve of World War II, the dirigible seemed to be the solution to fast intercontinental travel.

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Model T II

Lead: Despite its reputation and popularity Henry Ford's Model T was obsolete almost before it went into mass production.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Without a doubt, the Model T Ford was a triumph of industrial engineering and commercial marketing. Through extensive use of light alloy steel and mass production, Ford brought the automobile within the reach of middle class American homes and farms. From its introduction in the fall of 1908 it was an immediate hit. It was designed for American conditions. Easy to repair and drive, it was tall enough to negotiate the horrible roads of the American countryside. Because of its large-bore, short stroke engine, it had enough power to wrench itself out of most mud holes, take the family to town on Saturday in relative style and still serve as a work vehicle around the farm.

 

 

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Model T I

Lead: In 1908 Henry Ford introduced his people's car. The Model T made the automobile part of everyday life for millions.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: "I believe that I have solved the problem of cheap as well as simple automobile construction." So boasted Henry Ford to reporters as he revealed his new car. It was the Ford Model N, predecessor to one of the most amazing consumer goods ever to made available to the mass market. The Model N was the breakthrough toward which Henry Ford had been working for a decade. Thereto fore, low-priced automobiles had been little more horse buggies with a single cylinder engine slung under the seat or hung onto the back. Multi-cylinder cars were out of the question, far beyond the price range of the middle class family. Ford believed that if he could build a car that was serviceable, long-lasting and cost less than a thousand dollars he could transform the automobile from an amusement available only to the rich into a practical part of American family life.

 

 

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Halifax, Nova Scotia Great Explosion II

Lead: The chance collision of two merchant ships and a subsequent huge explosion in December 1917 nearly destroyed the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Canadians and the world helped bring it back.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the early morning hours of December 6, 1917, Imro, a Norweigian ship headed to pick up relief supplies for the suffering in Belgium, sliced into the side of the French freighter, Mont Blanc, in the narrow Halifax harbor channel leading to the open sea. Mont Blanc was load with tons of explosives and extremely flammable benzol. The encounter loosed the benzol and sparks, caused by scraping metal, set it ablaze. The ship drifted into the crowded docks of Halifax and at about 9:06 Mont Blanc blew up. The ship simply disintegrated and sent a fireball and mushroom cloud miles into the air.

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Halifax, Nova Scotia Great Explosion I

Lead: In December 1917, Halifax, the capital of Canada’s maritime province of Nova Scotia was nearly leveled by the greatest man-made explosion prior to Hiroshima.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Established as a military outpost in 1754, by the turn of the twentieth century Halifax had become one most important commercial centers on Canada’s east coast. During World War I, ships, thousands of them, crowded the city’s harbor and narrow channel, the staging area for east-bound convoys bringing much needed supplies and munitions to the allies fighting in Europe.

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Flying Blind (Autopilot)

Lead: If the airplane was ever to become more than an object of sport or tool of war, it had to be flown at night and in bad weather.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The enormous potential for aviation was beginning to be felt in the early 1920s but flying at night and during bad weather was hazardous and unreliable and posed serious limitations on the airplane in carrying cargo and passengers. Planes could compete with the railroads because of their speed but trains were far more reliable and in the case of mishap did not bounce as high. Often aviators would be caught in fog or lose sight of the ground at night, become disoriented, lose control of their aircraft, and crash, more often than not with fatal consequences.

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America’s First Railroad

Lead: Far from the industrial North, America's first railroad began at Charleston, South Carolina.

Content: In 1828, Horatio Allen, an American engineer, became fascinated with the new means of transportation known as the railroad. He paid a visit to England to study the few railroads then in existence. He was very impressed. So much so that he bought four locomotives and had them shipped back across the Atlantic.

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Charlie Crocker’s $10K Bet (Transatlantic Railroad)

Lead: Charlie Crocker's men lay ten miles of track and won for their boss a $10,000 bet.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: It all started in late October 1868. Thomas C. Durant, of the Union Pacific Railroad, had just witnessed his own men laying 7 3/4 miles of track, a record for a single day's work. He then cabled Charlie Crocker, chief engineer of the Central Pacific working eastward on the first continental rail link. He wagered $10,000 that the Union Pacific's record could not be broken surpassed. Crocker thought he could beat it, accepted the bet, and bragged that his crew could lay ten miles of track in a single day.

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