I have fond memories of watching The Secret Life of Machines on The Discovery Channel in the early 90's -- back in the days when the channel was mostly about sharks and David Attenborough films. The Secret Life of Machines was written and presented by Tim Hunkin (with assistance from Rex Garrod) and broadcast in the UK in the late 80's and early 90's. The show was like an early version of MythBusters, minus the myths, and with more quirky animation. It was all about machines -- how they work, how to build them, who invented them, and even how they're used in art. The series is charming, educational, and a lot of fun.
After you've caught up with the episodes, check out this 2004 article by Tim Hunkin discussing the history of the first season and offering some technological updates since the show aired. See also: Hunkin's account of the second season and the third season (also known as The Secret Life of the Office).