How It's Made (2001–…): Season 7, Episode 4 - Balloons/Wallpaper/Frozen French Fries/Incandescent Light Bulbs - full transcript

Find out how to make balloons, wallpaper, frozen French fries, and incandescent light bulbs.


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

Narrator:
TODAY ON "HOW IT'S MADE"...

BALLOONS...

...WALLPAPER...

...FROZEN FRENCH FRIES...

...AND INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULBS.

BALLOONS ARE USED
TO MARK SPECIAL OCCASIONS

OR TO BRIGHTEN UP A DAY
FOR YOUNG AND OLD PEOPLE ALIKE.

BUT BALLOONS WEREN'T ALWAYS
SO DELIGHTFUL.

IN EARLIER DAYS, THEY WERE MADE
OF DRIED ANIMAL BLADDERS --

A BIT OF AN UNPLEASANT CONCEPT.

IN THE 19th CENTURY,

SOMEONE INVENTED
A RUBBER BALLOON

WHICH WE STILL USE TODAY.

THEY STARTED MASS-PRODUCING
BALLOONS IN THE 1930s,

AND TODAY THEY'RE EVERYWHERE.

TO MAKE BALLOONS, THEY POUR DYE
INTO A TANK OF LATEX.

THEY FILTER IT THROUGH
CHEESECLOTH TO REMOVE ANY LUMPS.

AGITATORS AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE TANK

MIX IT UP FOR 15 OR 16 HOURS.

THIS DISTRIBUTES THE COLOR,

AND IT ALSO KEEPS THE LATEX
ACTIVE SO IT DOESN'T CONGEAL.

BALLOONS COME
IN 53 DIFFERENT SHADES.

NOZZLES SPRAY HOT WATER
ONTO BALLOON FORMS

TO CLEAN THEM AS THEY MOVE
ON A SYSTEM OF ROLLERS.

A FIXTURE THEN FLIPS
AND DIPS THE FORMS

INTO A TANK OF COAGULATE

THAT CARRIES
AN ELECTROCHEMICAL CHARGE

WHICH WILL ATTRACT
THE COLORED LATEX.

ON TOP OF THIS FIXTURE
ARE BALLOON FORMS

FRESHLY DIPPED IN BLUE LATEX,

WHILE BELOW
A TANK FULL OF LATEX RISES,

COATING MORE FORMS
ON THE UNDERSIDE.

THE JOB DONE,
THE FIXTURE FLIPS BACK,

MOVING THE BALLOON FORMS
TO AN UPRIGHT POSITION,

WHILE BELOW ANOTHER TRAY OF
BALLOON FORMS TAKES THE PLUNGE.

THE LATEX DRIES QUICKLY

AS A CONVEYOR MOVES
THE BALLOON FORMS FORWARD

TOWARD SPIRALING BRUSHES.

THE BRUSHES ROLL UP THE BOTTOMS
OF THE BALLOONS CREATING LIPS.

THE LIPS WILL MAKE IT POSSIBLE
FOR PEOPLE TO GRIP THE BALLOONS

IN ORDER TO INFLATE THEM.

THE FIXTURE FLIPS AGAIN,

AND THE BALLOONS NOSE-DIVE
INTO A HOT-WATER BATH.

THEY SOAK FOR UP TO 16 MINUTES.

THIS STEP IS CRITICAL.

IT LEACHES OUT
ALL THE IMPURITIES,

INCLUDING A PROTEIN
THAT CAUSES LATEX ALLERGIES.

THE HOT BATH
ALSO TRIGGERS VULCANIZATION,

OR RUBBERIZES THE LATEX.

THE BALLOONS TRAVEL
TO ANOTHER STATION.

HERE, THE FIXTURE DIPS THEM IN A
MIX OF TALCUM POWDER AND WATER.

THIS WILL ALLOW THEM TO BE MORE
EASILY STRIPPED OFF THE FORM.

AND NOW IT'S TIME FOR THE FORMS
TO SHED THEIR LATEX SKINS.

AS THE FORMS
PASS THROUGH THIS STATION,

AIR JETS INFLATE THE BALLOONS.

ROLLERS AT THE TOP
GRAB THE BALLOONS

AS THEY FILL WITH AIR AND PULL
THEM AWAY FROM THE FORMS.

THE ROLLERS
SHOOT THE BALLOONS UPWARD,

AND THEY TOPPLE
ONTO A CONVEYOR BELT.

NEXT, A WORKER
PILES THE BALLOONS

INTO AN INDUSTRIAL
WASHING MACHINE

AND ADDS A CLEANING SOLUTION.

THE MACHINE HEATS TO
A STEAMY 160 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT,

WHILE THE BALLOONS TUMBLE
AND NOZZLES SPRAY WATER INTO IT.

THIS DOESN'T
JUST CLEAN THE BALLOONS.

IT COMPLETES THE VULCANIZATION
OF THE LATEX.

NOW IT'S TIME TO SEE IF THEY CAN
STAND THE TEST OF INFLATION.

A MACHINE BLOWS AIR INTO
A HUGE, HEART-SHAPED BALLOON,

AND THE HEART SWELLS
BUT DOESN'T BREAK.

SHE HOLDS IT AGAINST A LIGHT

TO CHECK FOR IMPERFECTIONS
LIKE BLISTERS.

NOW IT'S TIME TO BLOW SOME UP.

THEY'RE SURE
TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR DAY.

Narrator:
WE'VE BEEN USING WALLPAPER

TO ADD COLOR TO OUR HOMES
FOR A LONG TIME.

THE USE OF WALLPAPER DATES BACK
TO 15th-CENTURY ENGLAND.

AT FIRST, IT WAS SEEN
AS A CHEAP SUBSTITUTE

FOR TAPESTRY AND PANELS.

BUT OVER TIME,
WALLPAPER GAINED WIDER APPEAL.

EVEN TODAY,

WALLPAPER IS A POPULAR
ALTERNATIVE TO PLAIN PAINT.

WHEN IT COMES TO VARIETY
AND DESIGN,

WALLPAPER HAS REALLY
GOT IT COVERED.

TO MAKE
THE VINYL BASE FOR WALLPAPER,

THEY POUR WATER
INTO A GIANT MIXING BOWL,

ADD STABILIZING POWDER
AND A LOT OF PLASTIC PELLETS.

THEY ADD SOLVENT

WHICH HELPS TO DISSOLVE THE
PLASTIC PELLETS INTO THE MIX.

BIG BEATERS STIR IT ALL UP.

IT STARTS TO LOOK
A LOT LIKE PANCAKE BATTER.

AND JUST AS IF
THEY WERE MAKING PANCAKE BATTER,

THEY ADD INGREDIENTS
INCREMENTALLY --

A LITTLE MORE POWDER
TO THICKEN THE MIX...

AND MORE PLASTIC PELLETS
FOR GOOD MEASURE.

WHEN THE MIX
REACHES THE RIGHT CONSISTENCY,

THEY POUR IT BETWEEN ROLLERS
ONTO ONE SIDE OF SPECIAL PAPER.

AN APPLICATOR ROLLER SPREADS THE
VINYL MIX EVENLY ONTO THE PAPER.

A JUMBO REEL ROLLS IT UP
AND THEN UNWINDS IT AGAIN.

HERE, NOZZLES FILL TRAYS
WITH PASTE.

ROLLERS PICK IT UP AND APPLY IT
TO THE BACKSIDE OF THE PAPER.

ELECTRICALLY POWERED ROLLERS

PULL THE WALLPAPER THROUGH
A GAS OVEN, DRYING THE PASTE.

THEN THEY WIND UP THE PAPER
AGAIN, CREATING A GIANT REEL.

A CIRCULAR BLADE NOW SLICES
THROUGH THE CENTER OF THE PAPER.

THIS TURNS THE ONE ROLL
INTO TWO,

EACH ONE OF THEM
21 1/2 INCHES WIDE.

THEY PULL OFF A SAMPLE PIECE

AND TEAR THE PAPER AWAY
FROM THE VINYL.

THEY'RE CHECKING THE ADHESION

AND IF THE VINYL
IS DURABLE AND SMOOTH.

MEANWHILE,
AWAY FROM THE PRODUCTION LINE,

STYLISTS EXPERIMENT WITH PAINT.

THEY BRUSH COLORS ON A DESIGN
THAT THEY'VE SELECTED.

THEY SELECT FIVE TO SIX
DIFFERENT COLOR COMBINATIONS

BECAUSE THIS DESIGN
WILL BE PRINTED IN MANY HUES.

EACH COLOR REQUIRES
A SEPARATE PRINT ROLLER.

THE DESIGN IS ENGRAVED
INTO EACH ROLLER.

A WORKER APPLIES SOME INK
ONTO ONE OF THE PRINT ROLLERS.

AS THE WALLPAPER TURNS
ON A BIG DRUM VINYL-SIDE UP

THE PRINT ROLLER TRANSFERS
THE IMAGE ONTO THE PAPER.

EACH CYLINDER
LAYERS IT IN A DIFFERENT COLOR,

BUILDING UP THE DESIGN.

DARKER COLORS ARE ACHIEVED
BY DEEPER ENGRAVINGS

ON THE PRINT CYLINDER

BECAUSE THEY TRANSFER MORE INK
TO THE WALLPAPER.

CONVERSELY, SHALLOWER ENGRAVINGS
PRODUCE LIGHTER TONES.

WHEN THEY HAVE THE FINAL PROOF,

THEY COMPARE IT
TO THE ORIGINAL ARTWORK.

IF THE COLORS LOOK RIGHT,
THE DESIGN GOES INTO PRODUCTION.

THERE'S NO TURNING BACK NOW.

THE INK IS READY,
AND THE PAPER ROLL TRAVELS

THROUGH A WEB
OF PRINT CYLINDERS.

HERE, PRINT CYLINDERS
BUILD A DOLPHIN DESIGN

ONTO THE VINYL SIDE
OF THE PAPER.

TO DRY THE INK,

THE PAPER TRAVELS
THROUGH A HOT-BLOWER SYSTEM.

THIS IS THE VIEW FROM BELOW.

PHOTOS ARE TAKEN
AND VIEWED ON A MONITOR

TO GET A CLOSE LOOK AT THE
QUALITY OF THE WALLPAPER PRINT.

IF IT PASSES INSPECTION,

THEY ROLL THE WALLPAPER
ONTO A BIG REEL.

SOME WALLPAPER
HAS A FLAT FINISH,

BUT THEY OFTEN EMBOSS IT,
MAKING RAISED DESIGNS.

THIS CREATES TEXTURE.

BLADES FROM ABOVE AND BELOW
CUT THE WALLPAPER

INTO 32.8-FOOT ROLLS.

A CONVEYOR SYSTEM
TRANSPORTS THE WALLPAPER

TO A MACHINE
THAT SHRINK-WRAPS IT,

AND THEN IT'S OFF
TO THE SHOWROOM,

WHERE YOU CAN PICK
YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN.

Narrator: MOST FOOD HISTORIANS
BELIEVE FRENCH FRIES

ARE ACTUALLY
A BELGIAN INVENTION.

ONE THEORY SAYS THEY ORIGINATED
IN THE 1680s WITH POOR PEOPLE

WHO'D RESORT TO FRYING POTATOES
INSTEAD OF FISH.

DURING WORLD WAR I,

FRIES WERE POPULAR
WITH NORTH AMERICAN SOLDIERS

STATIONED IN BELGIUM'S
FRENCH-SPEAKING AREAS,

WHICH MAY BE HOW THEY CAME
TO BE CALLED FRENCH FRIES.

THIS COMPANY MAKES ITS FROZEN
FRIES FROM RUSSET POTATOES.

RUSSETS ARE OVAL,
SO THEY PRODUCE LONGER FRIES

THAN A ROUNDER-SHAPED
VARIETY WOULD.

RUSSETS ARE ALSO SUFFICIENTLY
CRUNCHY WHEN FRIED,

AND THEIR
LOWER-THAN-AVERAGE SUGAR CONTENT

MEANS THEIR FLESH
STAYS WHITE LONGER.

WHEN THE POTATOES ARRIVE
AT THE FACTORY,

THEY TRAVEL ALONG ROLLERS THAT
RUB OFF ANY FOREIGN MATTER --

THINGS SUCH AS SOIL,
SMALL ROCKS, AND PLANT PARTS.

THE ROLLERS
ALSO SCRAPE OFF THE EYES.

THE POTATOES
THEN ENTER THE WASHING STATION.

AS THEY SPIN
IN A REVOLVING CAGE,

WATER JETS SPRAY THEIR SURFACE,
CLEANING THEM THOROUGHLY.

NEXT STOP --

A SORTING MACHINE THAT DIVIDES
THE POTATOES BY SIZE.

IT'S MADE UP OF SUCCESSIVE
LEVELS OF VIBRATING GRIDS.

THE SHAKING
FORCES THE SMALLER POTATOES

THROUGH THE GRID OPENINGS,

SEPARATING THEM
FROM THE LARGER POTATOES.

BIG POTATOES BECOME CLASSIC,
STRIP-SHAPED FRIES.

SMALL ONES BECOME RING-SHAPED
OR CUBE-SHAPED FRIES.

AFTER SORTING, THE POTATOES DROP
INTO A COLLECTION BIN.

ONCE FULL,
ITS BOTTOM HATCH OPENS,

RELEASING THE POTATOES
INTO A GIANT STEAMER.

AFTER ABOUT 10 SECONDS
IN THE PRESSURIZED STEAM,

THE SKINS ARE SOFT ENOUGH
TO COME OFF

WITH JUST A LITTLE PRESSURE.

THAT HAPPENS NEXT IN
THIS MACHINE CALLED THE PEELER.

IT LOOKS LIKE
A GIANT CLOTHES DRYER,

EXCEPT THAT THE DRUM
IS LINED WITH BRUSHES.

AS THE DRUM TUMBLES,
THE BRISTLES RUB OFF THE SKINS.

AS THE SKINLESS POTATOES
EXIT THE PEELER,

WORKERS INSPECT THEM,

TOSSING ANY THAT HAVE GREEN
OR ROTTEN PARTS

OR PIECES OF SKIN
STILL STUCK TO THEM.

THE TYPE OF FRIES IN PRODUCTION
DETERMINES WHICH OF TWO SYSTEMS

TO DO THE CHOPPING.

A SERIES OF ROTARY,
MECHANICAL SLICERS...

OR A HYDRAULIC SYSTEM
IN WHICH RUNNING WATER

THRUSTS THE POTATOES
AGAINST CUTTING BLADES.

THE FRESHLY CUT POTATO PIECES
DROP INTO A CANAL.

FLOWING WATER TRANSPORTS THEM
TO A CONVEYOR BELT

THAT WILL MOVE THEM
THROUGH THE NEXT PHASES.

NOW FOR A HIGH-TECH
QUALITY CHECK.

EACH AND EVERY PIECE
PASSES BY A CAMERA

IN WHICH A COMPUTER
ANALYZES SIZE AND COLOR.

ANY SUBSTANDARD FRY-TO-BE
IS FLAGGED,

AND AN AIR JET BLOWS IT
OFF THE PRODUCTION LINE.

THE GOOD PIECES
FALL INTO A WATER TANK.

AS THEY SOAK,
SUGAR LEACHES OUT OF THE FLESH

SO THAT THEY'LL ALL TURN OUT THE
SAME COLOR ONCE THEY'RE COOKED.

THEN A PROCESS
KNOWN AS BLANCHING --

THE PIECES GO INTO HOT WATER
THEN COLD WATER.

THIS FIRMS UP THE FLESH

AND MAKES THE POTATO FLAVOR
MORE PRONOUNCED.

THEN IT'S INTO THE FRYER.

THE POTATOES COOK
FOR ABOUT TWO MINUTES

IN NON-HYDROGENATED
VEGETABLE OIL.

AS THE FRENCH FRIES
LEAVE THE FRYER,

EXCESS OIL DRAINS DOWN THROUGH
HOLES IN THE CONVEYOR BELT

TO A COLLECTION PAN BELOW.

THE FRIES NOW PASS
THROUGH THE FREEZER AREA

WHICH IS BETWEEN 5 AND
NEGATIVE-13 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

THEY TAKE
ABOUT 10 MINUTES TO FREEZE.

ONCE THEY DO,

AN OSCILLATING CONVEYOR BELT
DEPOSITS THEM INTO CHUTES.

EACH CHUTE HAS A BUILT-IN SCALE
SET TO THE PACKAGE WEIGHT

WHICH, FOR THIS PRODUCTION RUN,
IS 8.8 POUNDS.

ONCE THAT QUANTITY ACCUMULATES,
THE BOTTOM OF THE CHUTE OPENS,

AND THE FRIES DROP
INTO A PLASTIC BAG.

ALL THE CUSTOMER HAS TO DO IS
DROP THESE FROZEN FRENCH FRIES

INTO BOILING OIL
FOR TWO OR THREE MINUTES,

AND THEY'RE READY TO SERVE.

Narrator: THE INCANDESCENT LIGHT
BULB IS A RATHER SIMPLE DEVICE.

ITS BASE HAS TWO METAL CONTACTS

WHICH CONNECT
TO A METAL FILAMENT.

THE ELECTRIC CURRENT'S ELECTRONS

COLLIDE WITH THE ATOMS IN THE
FILAMENT, MAKING THEM VIBRATE.

THIS ENERGY HEATS THE ATOMS
TO 4,000 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT,

AT WHICH TEMPERATURE
THEY EMIT VISIBLE LIGHT.

THE LIGHT-BULB FACTORY
HAS TWO PRODUCTION LINES

THAT EVENTUALLY MERGE.

ONE PREPARES THE GLASS BULB.

THE OTHER MAKES
WHAT'S CALLED THE MOUNT --

THE ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
THAT GO INSIDE IT.

AT THE START OF THE MOUNT LINE,

A MACHINE CUTS GLASS TUBING
INTO PIECES OF SPECIFIC LENGTHS.

THE CUT TUBES LAND ON
WHAT'S CALLED A GLAZING WHEEL

THAT RUNS THEM THROUGH A GAS
FLAME FOR ABOUT SEVEN SECONDS.

THIS HEATS THE GLASS ENOUGH
TO SMOOTH THE SURFACE.

THE GLAZED TUBES NOW ENTER

WHAT'S CALLED
A FLARE-MAKING MACHINE,

WHICH HEATS EACH TUBE
UNTIL THE GLASS IS MALLEABLE

THEN STRETCHES ONE END
INTO A FLARED SHAPE.

THE NEXT MACHINE
LOADS TWO COPPER LEAD WIRES

INTO THE FLARE END,

THEN IT INSERTS
A THIN, GLASS CYLINDER

CALLED THE EXHAUST TUBE.

A TRIP THROUGH A SERIES
OF PROGRESSIVELY HOTTER FLAMES

SOFTENS THE TUBES.

A PRESS THEN MOVES IN
TO SQUASH THEM,

ENCASING THE WIRES IN GLASS.

AT THE SAME TIME,

THE MACHINE MAKES A TINY HOLE IN
THE GLASS IN BETWEEN THE WIRES.

THIS IS TO LATER REMOVE AIR
FROM INSIDE THE BULB.

IT WILL EXIT VIA THE EXHAUST
TUBE THROUGH THIS HOLE.

NEXT, THE MACHINE SEPARATES
THE LEAD WIRES

AND FORMS THE ENDS INTO HOOKS.

THESE FASTEN TO THE FILAMENT,

A THIN WIRE COIL
MADE OF TUNGSTEN,

A TYPE OF METAL
THAT HOLDS UP WELL TO HEAT.

THE MACHINE COATS THE LEAD WIRES

IN A LIQUID FORM
OF ANOTHER METAL, ZIRCONIA.

THIS LENGTHENS THEIR LIFE SPAN

BY MAKING THEM MORE RESISTANT
TO MOISTURE INSIDE THE BULB.

LIKE THE TUBES WE'VE JUST SEEN,

THE BULBS ARE MADE OF
AN INEXPENSIVE TYPE OF GLASS

CALLED SODA-LIME GLASS.

A MACHINE STAMPS
THE TOP OF EACH BULB

WITH THE VOLTAGE, THE WATTAGE,
AND THE COMPANY LOGO.

OPAQUE LIGHT BULBS
ARE SIMPLY CLEAR BULBS

WITH AN INSIDE COATING
OF SYNTHETIC SILICA --

A WHITE POWDER.

THE COATING MACHINE CHARGES
THE BULBS TO 30,000 VOLTS.

COMBINED WITH
JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF HEAT,

THIS ELECTRICAL CHARGE
MAKES A THIN LAYER OF POWDER

CLING TO THE GLASS.

A SERIES OF FLAMES
EVAPORATES MOISTURE

AND BAKES OFF ANY IMPURITIES.

AS THE TWO
PRODUCTION LINES MERGE,

A BULB GOES OVER EACH MOUNT.

TORCHES THEN FUSE
THE FLARED END OF THE MOUNT

TO THE NECK OF THE BULB.

ARMS MOVE IN AND MOLD THE NECK

TO FIT INSIDE
THE BULB'S ALUMINUM BASE.

THE NEXT MACHINE VACUUMS OUT
ALL THE AIR IN THE BULB

AND REPLACES IT
WITH PRESSURIZED ARGON GAS.

THIS INERT GAS
WILL RESIST HEAT BUILDUP,

HELPING THE FILAMENT
LAST LONGER.

AFTER BENDING THE LEAD WIRES
OUT OF THE WAY,

TORCHES MELT AND SEAL OFF
THE GLASS EXHAUST TUBE,

LOCKING THE ARGON GAS INSIDE.

THE BULB WOULD NOW BE
FULLY FUNCTIONAL

IF CONNECTED
TO AN ELECTRIC CURRENT.

BUT IT NEEDS A BASE

IN ORDER TO SCREW INTO
THE SOCKET OF A LIGHT FIXTURE.

THE BASE IS MADE OF ALUMINUM.

THIS MACHINE INSERTS
ONE OF THE BULBS' LEAD WIRES

THROUGH THE MIDDLE
AND SOLDERS IT IN PLACE.

IT THEN SPOT-WELDS
THE OTHER WIRE TO THE SIDE.

THE RESULT --

TWO BASE CONTACTS TO LINE UP
WITH TWO SOCKET CONTACTS.

ON THEIR WAY TO PACKAGING,

THE BULBS UNDERGO
WHAT'S CALLED FLASH TESTING --

REPEATED LIGHT-UPS, USING
A HIGHER VOLTAGE EACH TIME.

THIS STRENGTHENS
THE FILAMENTS INSIDE,

MAKING IT LESS LIKELY
TO BREAK DURING SHIPPING.

THIS FACTORY
TESTS LIGHT BULBS REGULARLY

TO MAKE SURE
THE LIGHT OUTPUT AND WATTAGE

ARE WHAT THEY SHOULD BE.

ONE LAST ILLUMINATION
TO MAKE SURE NOTHING BROKE

BETWEEN FLASH TESTING
AND PACKAGING.

THE AUTOMATED
PACKAGING EQUIPMENT

IS DESIGNED TO CUSHION
AND PROTECT THE FRAGILE BULBS

SO THEY DON'T BREAK
DURING TRANSPORT.

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