A self-made man and one of Americas greatest engineers, James Buchanan Eads led a life inextricably intertwined with the nations most important waterway, the Mississippi River. He explored the river bottom in a diving bell of his own design; made a fortune salvaging wrecks; in the 1870s built the world's first steel bridge over the Mississippi at St. Louis; then deepened the river at its mouth, turning New Orleans into the second largest port in the nation. By the time of his death in 1887, Eads was widely acknowledged to be one of the most influential men of his day.
A special narration track is added to the series by Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®), a service of WGBH to provide access to people who are blind or visually impaired. The DVS narration is available on the SAP channel of stereo TVs and VCRs.