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March 16, 2007

Colonial Williamsburg’s March 22 Electronic Field Trip examines how technology revolutionized labor

Colonial Williamsburg’s Emmy-award-winning Electronic Field Trip series continues March 22 with “Made In America.” Throughout America’s history, advances in technology have revolutionized the nature of work. This field trip looks at three centuries of labor, family and how people perceive their jobs.

Through scenes of a grandfather talking to his children in an abandoned automobile factory, we learn about the effects of changing technology and its impact on modern life. We learn about what it was like in colonial times in a blacksmith shop and how young boys served an apprenticeship to become blacksmiths. The program concludes with a look at how computers have completely changed the American labor force, requiring skills that were not imagined in the 18th century.

Produced by Colonial Williamsburg’s Division of Productions, Publications and Learning Ventures, Electronic Field Trips are broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on participating PBS stations and cable channels. Registered users may also view the program via the Internet. The programs consist of a one-hour live broadcast which includes a story on subjects from the colonial period through the early life of the United States. The productions are supported with comprehensive lesson plans, glossaries, timelines, Internet activities and online connectivity to Colonial Williamsburg historians.

Students in participating schools may call the program from their classrooms during the broadcast to ask questions of historians on the air. For “Made In America,” the on-air experts will be master blacksmith Ken Schwarz, Marc Greuther, curator of industry, The Henry Ford; and Jay Gaynor, director of historic trades. Student hosts for the program are Ciara Montgomery and Jeremiah Smith.

The series concludes April 26, 2007, in time for the 400th anniversary of the discovery of Jamestown, with the premiere of “Jamestown Unearthed,” which looks at how history is written and re-evaluated as new methods of study are introduced and archaeological discoveries offer new clues to interpreting history.

As the nation’s leading educational resource for early American history, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation uses the Internet and interactive television technology to bring the 18th century to life for more than one million students throughout the United States each year. For more information or to register for the Electronic Field Trip Series visit or contact the Electronic Field Trip registrar at 1-800-761-8331 or by e-mail at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280