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Video Review - History Channel - Modern Marvels - Locomotives

America: Facts or Fiction - Season 15 Episode 11: Locomotives

Release date: April 7, 2008


"Modern Marvels celebrates the ingenuity, invention and imagination found in the world around us. From commonplace items like ink and coffee to architectural masterpieces and engineering disasters, the hit series goes beyond the basics to provide insight and history into things we wonder about and that impact our lives. This series tells fascinating stories of the doers, the dreamers and sometime-schemers that create everyday items, technological breakthroughs and manmade wonders. The hit series goes deep to explore the leading edge of human inspiration and ambition."


A fireman shovels coat into the fire box only when steam is needed. The engine uses about one and a half tons of coal an hour. The fireman is on duty 12 hours a day.

The boiler consists of a firebox surrounded by water. The steam goes up into a dome then through a throttle to power the engine. The pistons turns rods which propel the wheels.

Temperatures get up to 2500 degrees F.

When two locomotives crash head-on into each other, the one with more momentum will move up on the other one.

1896, two unmanned trains crashed into each other in Texas part of a publicity stunt. Unfortunately, the explosion caused pieces of metal to go flying to the crows and killed 3 spectators and injured a whole lot more.

You may be able to find this video on the History Channel or on YouTube. I couldn't find it on Amazon.

Official Modern Marvels Site

Video Review - American Heroes Channel - America: Facts or Fiction - Fool's Gold

America: Facts or Fiction - Season 2 Episode 1: Fool's Gold

Release date: October 7, 2014


"The real facts behind America's biggest economic boom and biggest bust will shock you. On this episode of America: Facts vs. Fiction, discover a treasure of nuggets about the California gold rush and the Stock Market Crash of 1929."


The first gold rush in North America was in 1799 in North Carolina.

The second gold rush in North America was in 1828 in Georgia

The third gold rush in North America was in 1849 in California (the Gold Rush we all know about and learned in school)

Over 50,000 people hit the trail in 1849 to go find gold and "strike it rich" (although most did not). The first arrivals could find gold in pans in the rivers but within months the gold was harder to find.

One in five died of diseases, accidents or violence within the first six months.

One in four miners (25%) came from outside the U.S.

Arsonists would burn hotels, etc to get the gold left behind in mattresses

The frenzy of the gold rush ends around 1860.

You may be able to find this video on the American Heroes Channel (https://www.ahctv.com/) or on YouTube. Otherwise, you can purchase it on Amazon: