How We Got to Now

Premiered Fall 2014

How We Got To Now with Steven Johnson is a six part documentary series that reveals the story behind the remarkable ideas that made modern life possible; the unsung heroes that brought them into the world – and the unexpected and bizarre consequences each of these innovations has triggered. Airs Wednesday, October 15 - November 12 2014 at 9/8c for the first episode and 10/9c thereafter.

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Providing Support for PBS.org

Clips 12

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now Introducing How We Got to Now on Learning Media

How We Got to Now

Introducing How We Got to Now on Learning Media

Steven introduces how the series can be used to inspire innovation in the classroom.

2:07

Introducing How We Got to Now on Learning Media

2:07

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now The Development of the Ice Trade

How We Got to Now

The Development of the Ice Trade

Steven tells how Frederic Tudor developed a method of transporting ice to warm climates.

4:58

The Development of the Ice Trade

4:58

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now The Invention of the Microscope and Telescope

How We Got to Now

The Invention of the Microscope and Telescope

Find out how the microscope and telescope were first invented.

4:03

The Invention of the Microscope and Telescope

4:03

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now The invention of the light bulb

How We Got to Now

The invention of the light bulb

How was the first long-lasting light bulb invented?

4:59

The invention of the light bulb

4:59

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now Measuring Sound

How We Got to Now

Measuring Sound

Introducing Harvey Fletcher, the man who invented a meter to measure noise pollution.

4:26

Measuring Sound

4:26

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now The Story of Standardized Time

How We Got to Now

The Story of Standardized Time

Steven explains how we developed a global system of standardized time.

2:51

The Story of Standardized Time

2:51

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now The Development of Chlorine

How We Got to Now

The Development of Chlorine

How did chlorination help purify drinking water in America?

4:55

The Development of Chlorine

4:55

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now Where do good ideas come from?

How We Got to Now

Where do good ideas come from?

Rather than a series of 'lightbulb moments', ideas can sometimes take a little longer!

4:59

Where do good ideas come from?

4:59

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Previews 6

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now Preview of 'Cold'

How We Got to Now

Preview of 'Cold'

Here's a taste of what's to come in the episode 'Cold.

0:31

Preview of 'Cold'

0:31

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now How We Got To Now Preview

How We Got to Now

How We Got To Now Preview

Six-Part Series to Premiere in Fall 2014 on PBS.

0:30

How We Got To Now Preview

0:30

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now Preview of Sound

How We Got to Now

Preview of Sound

Here's what to look forward to in the episode 'Sound'.

0:43

Preview of Sound

0:43

Video thumbnail: How We Got to Now Preview of Light

How We Got to Now

Preview of Light

Host Steven Johnson explores how light has altered sleeping patterns and architecture.

0:43

Preview of Light

0:43

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