DID YOU KNOW?! The first printing press was created by modifying the traditional grape press.

Find out why you should thank this invention for your eye glasses & much more in this HOW WE GOT TO NOW WITH STEVEN JOHNSON video.

The series continues with “Glass” Wednesday, October 22 at 10/9c on PBS. And we’ll be LIVE-GIFing the episode right here on Tumblr!

In the case of these glassmakers, royalty comes with a price. By law, the skilled workers were forbidden from ever leaving the city — a crime punishable by death!
HOW WE GOT TO NOW WITH STEVEN JOHNSON continues Wednesday, 10/22 at 10/9c with “Glass” on PBS. 
And we’ll continue to LIVE-GIF each episode right here on Tumblr!

In the case of these glassmakers, royalty comes with a price. By law, the skilled workers were forbidden from ever leaving the city — a crime punishable by death!

HOW WE GOT TO NOW WITH STEVEN JOHNSON continues Wednesday, 10/22 at 10/9c with “Glass” on PBS. 

And we’ll continue to LIVE-GIF each episode right here on Tumblr!

In the 1890’s Marie Curie made history by showing radioactive atoms decay at a constant rate. This led to the discovery that elements each have a rate of decay that is regular and predictable. Armed with these radiometric clocks, geologists can now pinpoint events in the past, but also allows us to predict the future.

Tune in to HOW WE GOT TO NOW right now to learn more.

In the middle of the 19th century, the railroad was transforming America and connecting the continent for the first time. But this created an unexpected problem. The railroads were connecting all of these towns that maintained their own individual times, and each railroad ran on its own time. So to travel back then was a bit of an adventure.

A man named William Allen changed time to the world as we know it, after a 7-month campaign urging city councils to unite, with the introduction of time zones.

Tune in to HOW WE GOT TO NOW right now to learn more.

Once hand-crafted and seen as an elite status symbol for the rich, watches became an affordable breakout hit during the Civil War thanks to a man named Aaron Dennison and his idea to mass-produce a cheaper model on a production line.

Dennison democratized time and in just two decades with the majority of people owning a watch we started to synchronize our actions.

Tune in to PBS now to learn more with HOW WE GOT TO NOW.

15 years after Galileo designs a pendulum that could regulate clocks, Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens produces the first true pendulum clock.

This technology had massive repercussions for the modern world and led to the invention of the marine chronometer, which increased exploration and brought Charles Darwin to the Galapagos islands, whose findings there helped form the basis of the theory of evolution.

Tune in to PBS now to learn more with HOW WE GOT TO NOW.

Maritime navigation is what drove the advancement in our measurement of time. On land, at the time, there was no need for clocks that were accurate to the second, but at sea, sailors were starting to realize that accurate measurement of time was crucial to navigation. Which means that the need for accurate clocks didn’t come from the calendar, it came from the map.

Tune in to PBS right now to learn more with HOW WE GOT TO NOW. 

A 19-year-old Galileo made an observation: “The marvelous property of the pendulum, is that it makes all its vibrations, large or small, in equal times.”

This discovery, the idea of equal time, became one of the foundations of our modern life and contributed to the revolution of time.

Tune in to PBS now to learn more with Steven Johnson about HOW WE GOT TO NOW.

Doctor John Leal was determined to find a way to kill bacteria in water and in 1908, he saw his opportunity after a New Jersey water company was suffering from high bacterial content.

He dosed the drinking supply of 200,000 people with potentially lethal chlorine. Most thought he was a madman for “poisoning” the community, but his experiment proved them wrong and soon a series of developments were made, resulting in a ripple effect of change.

Tune in now to learn more with HOW WE GOT TO NOW.

In 1854, during a deadly outbreak of cholera in Soho, John Snow went door to door recording the deaths and their addresses on a map. He quickly realized the deaths were concentrated around a water pump, and the workers at the local brewery had easily escaped the disease. Ultimately proving that cholera spreads through water.

Want to hear more? Tune in to HOW WE GOT TO NOW right now.