Great American Railroad Journeys "Schenectady to Niagara Falls"

Great American Railroad Journeys "Schenectady to Niagara Falls"

Sat, 08/12/2017 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

Pictured: Host Michael Portillo

Credit: APT

Host Michael Portillo discovers a famous 19th-century name still trading today: George Eastman, who launched mass market photography with his Eastman Kodak company in Rochester.

Following the 1879 guidebook Appleton’s General Guide to the United States, he travels from New York City to historic Jamestown, Virginia. Along the way, he visits famous landmarks, samples local cuisine, and investigates America’s diverse cultural origins and complex social history. Great American Railroad Journeys "Schenectady to Niagara Falls" airs Saturday, August 12 at 4 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

Episode #104 - "Schenectady to Niagara Falls"
Continuing his American journey heading west through New York state, Michael Portillo experiences a "light bulb" moment in Schenectady, when he discovers how Thomas Edison's General Electric Company also leads the way in modern rail technology. In Utica, he investigates Lock 20 of 57 along the Erie Canal – 325 miles of waterway which connected the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Coast via the Hudson River. A yellow brick road beckons Michael to Chittenango, where a Kansas farm girl introduces him to a lion, and a tin man. On a hillside near Palmyra, Portillo finds out about a farm boy, Joseph Smith, and his Book of Mormon, from one of the 15 million believers who follow his religion today. Further west in Rochester, Portillo discovers a famous 19th-century name still trading today: George Eastman, who launched mass market photography with his Eastman Kodak company. Reaching Buffalo, he lunches on the city's famous Buffalo wings and discovers it was once the center of the world's grain trade. Touring Silo City, Portillo learns about the invention which propelled the port of Buffalo into its dominant position – the grain elevator – and how the railroads sealed the deal. Finally, Portillo braves the awesome power and drenching spray of Niagara Falls in the "Maid of the Mist" to share what artists, daredevils and millions of tourists have billed as one of the most spectacular experiences on the planet.

share