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National Geographic ChannelNat Geo Wild
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  • BRITAIN'S GREATEST MACHINES WITH CHRIS BARRIE

DESCRIPTION

British inventions and engineering created much of our modern lives. From the first trains to cars, jet engines to battlefield innovations, even the lawnmower and petrol pumps called "fat ladies" - it's all investigated by enthusiast and TV icon Chris Barrie in Britain's Greatest Machineswith Chris Barrie.

Britain's Greatest Machines: 1910s
Host Chris Barrie kicks off proceedings with the 1910s - the decade that industrialised the First World War. Chris looks at pre-war inventions, from a three-wheeled Morgan runaboutto massive moving bridges, before charting the new weapons, trucks, planes and ships of World War I. Find out how technology changed warfare forever, before seeing Chris climb into the cockpit for an exhilarating flight on the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic.

Britain's Greatest Machines: 1920s
After the horrors of World War I, the 1920s boom-and-bust years were about speed, glamour, and power. But the modern world didn't just exist, it had to be invented. Chris explores the motorbikes, articulated lorries, petrol pumps and planes that came off the drawing board to redefine an exciting new world. See Chris recreate the decade's new obsession with motor racing, and explore the massive building where Britain produced the biggest flying machine the world had ever seen - the R101 airship.
 
Britain's Greatest Machines: 1940s
Roaring into the 1940s Chris finds out there's nothing like a war to create technological change. He mans a fire pump to tackle a Blitz-style blaze and steps into an RAF control centre to discover how radar helped win the Battle of Britain. From spy planes to powerboats, jet engines to shrapnel-proof fire engines, Chris shows how new innovations helped defeat Hitler. But then we needed brand new tractor and car designs to help build the peace that followed...
 
Britain's Greatest Machines: TRAINS
Grab your anoraks and climb onboard the 1820s, one of the most revolutionary decades in history. In just ten years transportation evolved from foot and horse to the first passenger railway, forever changing British society. Chris follows this breakthrough, heading down a mine to witness rail's beginnings and taking a spin on the Trevithick Puffing Devil - the world's first high-pressure steam engine. Finally, our intrepid presenter climbs on to the footplate of some of the earliest and most famous trains in the world. TV icon and vintage machine enthusiast, Chris Barrie, serves up a big dose of nostalgia in this exclusive series celebrating British design.

EPISODE GUIDE

  • Britain's Greatest Machines With Chris Barrie: 1910s
    Chris Barrie explores the pivotal moments in Britain's recent engineering past, revealing the key decades and discoveries that forged our nation.
  • Britain's Greatest Machines With Chris Barrie: 1920s
    Chris takes a look at the petrol revolution of the 1920s, which saw Britain became a major player in the international oil trade.
  • Britain's Greatest Machines With Chris Barrie: 1940s
    Chris Barrie explores the pivotal moments in Britain's recent engineering past, revealing the key decades and discoveries that forged our nation.
  • Britain's Greatest Machines With Chris Barrie: Trains
    Chris Barrie explores the pivotal moments in Britain's recent engineering past, revealing the key decades and discoveries that forged our nation.
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PHOTOS

VIDEOS

  • Trains photo

    Trains

    Join Chris on a nostalgic journey from the 1820s charting the birth and growth of Britain's train...

    (00:58)
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