An introduction to some significant inventions from the Victorian era. Adam Hart-Davis explains how the tree found to have an antidote to malaria helped invent the 'gin and tonic' (it was used to disguise the taste). The use of iron significantly helped the Victorians build railways and steam engines at a rapid pace. In 1837 Isambard Kingdom Brunel built the SS Great Britain, connecting the UK with America. However, Adam demonstrates how these iron ships caused problems for the navigational compasses and explains how Lord Kelvin's invention, the binnacle, worked to overcome these. We see a 'tempest prognosticator' (leech barometer) which the Victorians tried to use to predict the weather. With the increasing need for international trade, we are shown original telegraph cables which linked together across the globe.

First broadcast:
25 June 2003

Divide the class into groups. Each member of a group is allocated an invention which features in the clip, and has to note down its features and how they think it was of benefit. After watching the clip, each clip plays a 'balloon game', voting at each stage which invention to remove, leaving one invention which is deemed to have had the greatest impact.