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Powderhouse Productions is an American television production company.
The collaboration on this documentary for WGBH led them to conceive their own independent production company that would focus on their own brand of nonfiction television programming. In 1994, Olicker and Yourgrau officially began work under the Powderhouse moniker. Powderhouse's first office facilities were located in the basement of a Dunkin' Donuts restaurant location in Powder House Square, Somerville, Massachusetts.
Meaning of the name
The name "Powderhouse" is derived from a conflict during the American Revolution over gunpowder stored in the Provincial Powder House (still standing in Powder House Square near Tufts University in Somerville). The province and its towns were to share the powder, but the towns had removed their allotments. When William Brattle, a Cambridge loyalist, so informed the British commander, General Thomas Gage, the British became concerned that patriot elements might seize the provincial powder as well. On September 1, 1774, British soldiers removed 250 half barrels of powder from the Powder House. One detachment marched to Cambridge and carried off two small cannons.
A native New Yorker, he began his career at Valkhn Films, where he cut segments for the classic CBS children's series Captain Kangaroo. After a two-year teaching stint at Hampshire College, he was employed at WGBH, eventually editing and/or producing for the national series Nova, Frontline, The American Experience and others. At Powderhouse, he helped launch the Emmy-winning Discovery Channel series, Discover Magazine. He has produced and directed award-winning specials such as Engineering The Impossible, the Emmy-nominated series Extreme Engineering and numerous hours for the WGBH Science Unit and the Discovery Channel.
Tug Yourgrau is both an award-winning filmmaker and a Tony-nominated playwright. He currently serves as Executive Producer of the Raising Cain Project for PBS and as Co-Executive Producer of Extreme Engineering for The Discovery Channel. Most recently, Tourgrau completed The Great Pink Scare funded by ITVS. In 2001, Tug produced, directed and wrote Secrets, Lies, and Atomic Spies for PBS's Nova. His play The Song of Jacob Zulu, ran on Broadway in 1993 and led to six Tony nominations.
Programs and series produced by Powderhouse Productions
|Dogs 101||Animal Planet|
|Cats 101||Animal Planet|
|Build It Bigger (14 episodes)||Discovery|
|Dogs Vs Cats||Animal Planet|
|A Girl's Life||PBS|
|America's Cutest Dog||Animal Planet|
|Kids By The Dozen (3 episodes)||TLC|
|Mysteries of the Freemasons||History|
|Extreme Engineering - Season 3 (6 episodes)||Discovery|
|Raising Cain with Michael Thompson||PBS|
|MegaStructures: Ultimate Oil Rigs||National Geographic Channel|
|MegaStructures: Berlin Train Terminal||National Geographic Channel|
|MegaStructures: World's Biggest Airliner||National Geographic Channel|
|MegaStructures: Black Gold||National Geographic Channel|
|The Great Pink Scare||PBS|
|Extreme Engineering - Season 2 (10 episodes)||Discovery|
|Invent This! (13 episodes)||Tech TV|
|Engineering Supermax Prisons||TLC|
|World in Balance - China Revs Up||Nova/PBS|
|Extreme Engineering - Season 1 (10 episodes)||Discovery|
|Engineering the Impossible||Discovery|
|The Power of Friendship with Michael Thompson||OPB|
|Secrets, Lies, and Atomic Spies||Nova/PBS|
|Great Transformations - Evolution||Nova/PBS|
|The Killer's Trail||Nova/PBS|
|Mummies - The Real Story||Discovery Channel|
|Inside the US Mint||Discovery|
|Inside the World's Mightiest Bank||Discovery|