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Modern Marvels

Season 9 Episode 1

Failed Inventions

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jan 02, 2002 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Failed Inventions
Dreamers and schemers try an odd assortment of flawed ideas for inventions. Start with the cars--cars that fly, cars that float, cars with jet engines. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Here are homes that look like nothing you've ever seen and clothes too strange for even the most radical fashion runway, including rocket belts and radium-infused garments. Some of these creations were too far ahead of their time, and others were just plain bad ideas, but there's a fascinating tale behind each one, and FAILED INVENTIONS celebrates those occasions when necessity mothers a notion that only its creator could love.moreless
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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (4)

      • In 1997 the FDA halted sales of the Stimulator, a hand held igniter for gas grills marketed as a pain reliever. Consumers purchased 800,000 Stimulators at a cost of $65 million.

      • During World War II, the British developed a "sticky" grenade designed to attach itself to a target with a coating of powerful adhesive. It failed because it tended to stick to the hands and uniforms of the soldiers trying to toss it.

      • The first commercial jetliner, the Comet, failed because its distinctive square shaped windows cause deadly cracks in the fuselage.

      • William Lear, inventor of the Learjet and the first practical car radio, spent the last decade of his life trying unsuccessfully to create a practical steam powered car.

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Narrator: The world has always had its share of dreamers and schemers, tinkerers and inventors, some with great ideas but many more who missed the mark, who were ahead of their time, or whose ideas were just plain bad. This is a nod to the off kilter geniuses who've come up short on success. Now, Failed Inventions, on Modern Marvels.

    • NOTES (2)

      • Steve McVoy
        Founder, Early Television Museum

        Paul Kirchner
        Author, "Forgotten Fads and Fabulous Flops"

        Jackie Frady
        Exec. Dir., National Automobile Museum

        Jay Hubbard
        National Automobile Museum

        Brandt Rosenbusch
        Administrator, Walter P. Chrysler Museum

        Bob Casey
        Transportation Curator, Henry Ford Museum

        John Edelstein
        Amphicar Owner

        Ed Sweeney
        Aerocar Owner

        Nelson Tyler
        Inventor, Tyler Rocket Unit

        Dr. William Atwater
        Director, U.S. Army Ordinance Museum

        Ed Heasley
        Curator, U.S. Army Ordinance Museum

        Bob McCoy
        Author, "Quack! Tales of Medical Fraud"

        Brian Horrigan
        Author, "Yesterday's Tomorrows"

        Blake Hayes
        Henry Ford Museum

      • Executive Producer: Don Cambou
        Writer: Jon Crowley
        Producer: Jon Crowley
        Associate Producer: Scott Goldie
        Line Producer: Paul Dzilvelis
        Supervising Producer: Henry Schipper
        Narrator: Max Raphael
        Editor: Andrea Bailey
        Producer: Bruce Nash
        Creator: Bruce Nash
        Music: Alan Ett
        Production Manager: Kathlene Exner
        Post Producer: Scott Berkson
        Clearance Supervisor: Katie Del Core
        Director of Research: Hildie Katibah
        Archivist: Nilda Pergola-Jensen
        Researcher: Mark Savage
        Researcher: Diane Wai
        Clearance Assistant: Gabe Martinez
        Footage Consultant: Ted Troll
        Camera: Chris Bell
        Camera: Chris Meagher
        Camera: Reid Riddell
        Camera: Jim Stevenson
        Field Audio: David Canada
        Field Audio: Adam Kaplan
        Field Audio: David Pliskin
        Field Audio: Tammy Sorter
        Post Production Supervisor: Jason Steinberg
        Post Production Coordinator: Gary Reid
        Voice Over Coordinator: Dawn Irwin
        Post Production Assistant: Montgomery Jesselton Kingsley
        Online Editor: Dave Anderson
        Sound Mixer: Paul Ray
        Animation: Montgomery Jesselton Kingsley
        Graphics: Barry Hill
        Production Auditor: Dani Eslin
        Assistant Production Accountant: Linda Scribner
        Production Coordinator: Michael Z Davis
        Production Assistant: Maryalice R. Aragon
        Production Assistant: Rasi Delgado

        Special Thanks:
        Lee Exline
        Jay A. Follis
        Jack Stanley
        Douglas J. Tarr

        Executive Production: Beth Dietrich-Segarra

    • ALLUSIONS (0)