Inventions that Shook the World

Season 1
 (56)
8.32012X-RayALL
Go on a decade-by-decade voyage of discovery through life-changing inventions, like the radio that made the world smaller, the machine gun that made it more dangerous, or the parking meter that made it more expensive. Witness the discovery and creation of billion-dollar inventions and financial disasters - all players in the most innovative century the world has ever known.
Starring
Steve HerringerMark DeNicola
Genres
DocumentarySpecial Interest
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
Playing the video isn't supported on this device/operating system version. Please update or watch on Kindle Fire, mobile devices, game consoles, or other compatible devices.

Watch for $0.00 with Prime

Add to Watchlist
Add to
Watchlist
By ordering or viewing, you agree to our Terms. Sold by Amazon.com Services LLC.
Write review

  1. 1. The 1900s
    Watch on supported devices
    September 25, 2012
    45min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The first decade of the 1900s ushers in crucial inventions that will help shape the rest of the century. Communication gets a boost as a voice is transmitted wirelessly by radio for the first time. The vacuum cleaner stops rugs and carpets from taking a beating, and two brothers, the Wright , apply their skills as bicycle mechanics to build and fly the world's first airplane.
  2. 2. The 1910s
    Watch on supported devices
    September 25, 2012
    45min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Saving lives and taking lives are the hallmarks of the inventions of the 1910s. From charcoal to lightly browned, the quest for perfect toast is finally realized. And, the Tommy Gun unleashes the fearsome power of the machine gun.
  3. 3. The 1920s
    Watch on supported devices
    September 25, 2012
    45min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Mobsters, jazz, and turbulent economic times mark the 1920s. Silent film makes the transition to the talkies as sound comes to the silver screen. Criminals find that there's one less place to hide with the invention of the lie detector. And, the Space Age is launched when a rocketeer who refuses to give up finally unlocks the secret of liquid fuel.
  4. 4. The 1930s
    Watch on supported devices
    September 25, 2012
    45min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Though overshadowed by the Great Depression, there is no shortage of ingenuity in the 1930s. The two-way radio gets miniaturized, and the world's first portable walkie-talkie goes on the air. The electric guitar changes popular music forever, and commuters become a cash cow for cities when the parking meter is introduced.
  5. 5. The 1940s
    Watch on supported devices
    September 25, 2012
    45min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    War is the driving force behind much of the innovation in the 1940s. The microwave is born after a self-taught inventor realizes that military equipment is responsible for melting a chocolate bar in his pocket. And, a sailor returns home and hits pay dirt with an invention that finally brings cats in from the cold: kitty litter.
  6. 6. The 1950s
    Watch on supported devices
    September 25, 2012
    43min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The 1950s heralds the end of vacuum tubes and the rise of mobile technologies when two Japanese inventors shrink cabinet-size radios down to something small enough to fit in your pocket. And, the space race officially begins when the Soviet Union launches a satellite they call Sputnik.
  7. 7. The 1960s
    Watch on supported devices
    September 25, 2012
    45min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The 1960s is a decade of both cultural and technological change. Home entertainment goes from the kitchen table to the TV screen when the video game console is unveiled. And, the United States finally wins the decade-long space race, taking a giant step for mankind by landing astronauts on the moon.
  8. 8. The 1970s
    Watch on supported devices
    September 25, 2012
    45min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The cell phone moves from the car console to the hand when an engineer is inspired by a science fiction series. The hybrid car is reborn as an answer to the concerns over fossil fuels and pollution thanks to a tenacious inventor and the Environmental Protection Agency. The invention of the digital camera is kept in the darkroom for 20 years.
  9. 9. The 1980s
    Watch on supported devices
    September 25, 2012
    45min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The 1980s launch an unprecedented technological age that will continue into the next century. DNA profiling begins changing crime scene investigations for all time. Network computing gets a giant boost around the world with the advent of the Internet. And, the MIR space station kicks off a new age of space science.
  10. 10. The 1990s
    Watch on supported devices
    September 25, 2012
    45min
    ALL
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A new telescope named Hubble lets us see even further into the universe, revealing more of its majesty and mysteries. A young software engineer's wife gives birth to his daughter while he develops the camera phone in the waiting room. Pathfinder safely bounces to a stop on Mars thanks to an airbag system that puts cars airbag system to shame.

More details

Directors
David Weaver
Producers
Guy O'SullivanRobert Scott
Season year
2012
Network
Questar, Inc.
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

56 global ratings

  1. 66% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 7% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 6% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 7% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 14% of reviews have 1 stars
Write a customer review
Sorted by:

Top reviews from the United States

JoseReviewed in the United States on December 14, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Four Stars
Verified purchase
VERY INTERESTING, As a design engineer a lot of review but many nuggets that I found fascinating. Thanks!
8 people found this helpful
rkReviewed in the United States on December 22, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
Very frustrating
Their version of history is so disjointed and leaves you scratching your head as to what aspect of a particular technology the alleged inventor actually invented. They make it sound like all of radio was invented by one guy. I don't know how they got to this conclusion, but I'm pretty sure they overlooked phase 2: Steal underpants. A low brow reference, for sure, but it illustrates my point. I have excitedly sat through 6 of these (sub-)episodes, waiting for my questions about remote radio control, radio-telegraphy, refrigeration, etc. to be answered or at least addressed. But all I get is a few poorly-reenacted tinkering scenes and 'eureka' moments.
If you want to have a drunken-stream-of-consciousness view of history, watch this series.
17 people found this helpful
MReviewed in the United States on November 16, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
Uninspiring
We can thank women inventors for many key inventions including Kevlar, caller id, fire escapes, improved life rafts, computer algorithms, wifi, disposable diapers, dishwashers, and central heating. Though, this show will leave you thinking women are just for cooking,cleaning, and consuming products. It seemed as if the directors intentionally tried to avoid as much as possible mentioning any female inventor by name. Is it really that bad of a thing to show our young boys and girls that there were also female role models that they can look up to and be inspired by?
20 people found this helpful
Craig PhillipsReviewed in the United States on November 17, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Music is louder than the narrator
If it was not for the poor mixing job of the audio engineer I would give 5 stars. The music should NOT over power those who are speaking it needs to be lower. It is very obvious to the viewer that the audio production doesn't have balance.

This would have been a great series. It could have been an awesome educational series, but when you have music at or above the people talking then you've done a poor job.
15 people found this helpful
Steven SchnelzReviewed in the United States on March 13, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
They should have hired somebody to check this
OK. Carrier is the father of psychometrics and mechanical refrigeration but the description here is way out of whack. Likewise the characterization of the Wright brothers wind tunnel, sonar and just about everything else. Well produced and all but the facts are just twisted like the person writing it didn't quite get it. I am no engineer but, wait, yes I am...
9 people found this helpful
Earl CarlsonReviewed in the United States on December 23, 2018
2.0 out of 5 stars
The sound on some episodes was terrible
On a couple of episodes, the narrator spoke barely above a whisper, as though the information was so important it must be kept secret from the viewer. Then, to make matters worse, the background noise and some god-awful (and completely unnecessary) music drowned out the little that might have been communicated.
8 people found this helpful
Jennifer BarkerReviewed in the United States on January 27, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
Nice program, but...
Love watching these, but the 1920's was not fully uploaded and only 16 the 45 minute show.
9 people found this helpful
topherleeReviewed in the United States on October 20, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
totally wrong and how could a documentary be wrong and list Marconi with Tesla's patent?
Following up on Hertz's work, the genius Nikola Tesla first demonstrated wireless communication in 1893. One year later, the Bengali physicist Sir Jagadish C. Bose and the British physicist Sir. Oliver J. Lodge followed suit. Meanwhile, in England, a young Italian named Guglielmo Marconi had been hard at work building a wireless device. Tesla filed the first US radio patent in 1897. Marconi's first patent application in the US, in 1900, was turned down. His revised applications were repeatedly rejected because of the priority of Tesla. Nonetheless, his Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company Ltd. began thriving. Then, on Dec. 12th, 1901, Marconi for the first time transmitted signals across the Atlantic. Tesla commented:

"Marconi is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using 17 of my patents."

In 1904, surprisingly, the US Patent Office reversed previous decisions and gave Marconi a patent for the invention of radio. Marconi later won the Nobel Prize and Tesla sued his company for infringement. In 1943, a few months after Tesla's death, the US Supreme Court finally overturned Marconi's patent in favor of Tesla.
One person found this helpful
See all reviews