I’ve always been fascinated by factories. The automation, the assembly, the highly specialized single-purpose machines, the absolute precision. Discovering how things are put together is a great way to learn about how things work.

I’ve long been a fan of the How Stuff Works website, but recently I stumbled upon the How It’s Made TV show on the Science Channel.

How It’s Made is simply narrated, sparsely produced, and puts the spotlight on the factory process. Each episode usually focuses on about four different items. So far I’ve seen segments on tape measures, book binding, steel wool, umbrellas, cotton yarn, padlocks, violins, self-inking stamps, and synthetic leather. It’s fascinating stuff. I especially love when they break down lightning fast mechanical processes in slow motion.

If you get the Science Channel (it’s in the 200s on my Comcast cable service), check out How It’s Made. You’ll learn a lot and have a new found respect for those every day items you take for granted.