Modern Marvels

Season 7 Episode 37

Death Devices

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 14, 2000 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Death Devices
The hangman, guillotine, gas chamber, firing squad, and electric chair are just a few of the ways in which societies have rid themselves of those who committed capital crimes. And throughout history, a select few have developed the devices that have carried out the mandate of the people. This is the dark story of those inventors and the macabre history of execution mechanics--from the first "stone" of antiquity, the dungeons of the Inquisition, and Nazi death camps to today's sterile injection chambers--with a peek at the future of death technologymoreless

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  • A fairly boring subject.

    Tonight's episode about death devices was a bit of a letdown. The "tech" of death, as it were, just isn't all that interesting. The show followed the typical Modern Marvels flow, but the subject itself just wasn't interesting to me. Seeing the ways we kill people for committing crimes or punishment for other reasons is a bit hard to watch.
Julius Rosenberg

Julius Rosenberg

Himself (Archival Footage)

Guest Star

Ethel Rosenberg

Ethel Rosenberg

Herself (Archival Footage)

Guest Star

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

Himself (Archival Footage)

Guest Star

Max Raphael

Max Raphael


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Narrator: We climb the gallows steps as the blade falls and have a seat in the electric chair. The gas rises and the rifles roar, the chemicals flow and we descend into a macabre world of dark and deadly inventions: Now: Death Devices, on Modern Marvels.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Larry Fitzgerald
      Texas Department of Criminal Justice

      Cathee Shultz
      Curator, Museum of Death

      Stuart Creque
      Author, Killing With Kindness

      Prof. James Marquart
      Sam Houston State University

      Craig Brandon
      Author, Electric Chair

      Scott Christianson
      Author, Condemned

      Dr. L. Kay Gillespie
      Weber State University

      Ernest J. Trujillo
      Deputy Warden, Arizona State Prison

      Melvin Thomas
      Warden, Arizona State Prison

      Executive Producer: Don Cambou
      Writer: Barry D. Hill
      Writer: Holly A. Murdoch
      Producer: Barry D. Hill
      Producer: Holly A. Murdoch
      Editor: Avi Fisher
      Line Producer: Paul Dzilvelis
      Producer: Bruce Nash
      Creator: Bruce Nash
      Music: Alan Ett
      Production Manager: Linda K. Clark
      Post Producer: Scott Berkson
      Clearance Supervisor: Charlotte Carpenter
      Clearance Coordinator: Katie Del Core
      Director of Research: Barry Hill
      Researcher: Anthony Lacques
      Researcher: Gloria Morris
      Historical Consultant: Scott Christianson
      Footage Consultant: Ted Troll
      Post Production Supervisor: Jason Steinberg
      Post Production Coordinator: Gary Reid
      Assistant Editor: Harris Cohen
      Post Production Assistant: Brian Volk
      Online Editor: David Rex
      Sound Mixer: Sam Kaufman
      Animation: Glenn Takakjian
      Production Auditor: Dani Eslin
      Assistant Production Accountant: Linda Scribner
      Production Coordinator: Kathy Exner
      Production Assistant: Maryalice R. Aragon
      Production Assistant: Suni Nivens

      Special Thanks:
      Fref Leuchter
      Guy Rocha
      Paul Vincent
      Barbara Weber

      Supervising Producer: Beth Dietirch
      Executive Producer: Charlie Maday
      2000, 2001