Modern Marvels - Season 13

Wednesday 10:00 PM on The History Channel Premiered Jan 01, 1995 In Season


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Episode Guide

  • B-25 Bomber
    B-25 Bomber
    Episode 64
    In 1943, a B-25 Mitchell, WWII's most versatile twin-engine bomber, crash-landed in South Carolina. It sank 150 feet to the bottom of a lake and over time was forgotten. Now, 60 years later, a local doctor is determined to raise the giant bomber intact and give it to a museum. Our team--divers, engineers, and preservationists--takes on the job of moving the 20,000-pound bomber to the surface, while faced with the challenges of working in nearly zero-visibility murky waters and the wrath of an approaching hurricane, plus fear that the plane may be breaking apart!moreless
  • Christmas Tech
    Christmas Tech
    Episode 59
    Christmas is observed by nearly one-third of the world's population and probably more if you count the non-Christians who incorporate the more secular traditions into their winter season. Every year, revelers go all out with trees, ornaments, lights, window displays and Christmas treats. Technological advancements have made them cheaper, easier and safer.moreless
  • Tea
    Episode 58
    After water, tea is the second most popular drink in the world. It has been around as a drink for 5000 years, and 6 billion pounds of tea are harvested annually.
  • Snow
    Episode 57
    It is the bane of every suburban parent and the joy to every school kid. Born in a swirling storm cloud through a process called nucleation, the characteristics of snow flakes are threatened by pollution trapped in the clouds.
  • Engineering Disasters 20
    In March of 2005, the BP Refinery in Texas City, Texas, suffered a series of explosions that decimated a large portion of the facility and killed 15 workers. Then the unusual series of events that caused American Airlines flight 587 to fall from the sky. What happened in Times Beach, Missouri, when a local waste hauler oiled down dusty roads with oil that was laced with dioxin? Look at what went wrong with NASA's Skylab in 1974 and finally examine the fire that destroyed the gas company, Praxair, in June of 2005.moreless
  • Harvesting 2
    Harvesting 2
    Episode 55
    In America's orchards and farm fields, the constant struggle between hand labor and mechanization has produced dozens of efficient and sometimes bizarre harvesting methods. Learn the secrets of the orchard manager and his ladder crew as they check fruit pressures and barometric readings. Visit California's largest fruit packing house and try to keep up with 10-fruit-per-second conveyors. Then off to the corn fields of Nebraska and the cranberry marshes of central Wisconsin. Finally go underground to the world's largest mushroom farm where the harvest takes place in limestone caverns that run some 150 miles. From fruit tree picking platforms to cranberry beaters and corn pickers, farmers constantly strive to speed the harvest.moreless
  • Wine
    Episode 54
    A glass a day is said to keep the doctor away. A defeated Napoleon drowned his sorrows in it; Thomas Jefferson became obsessed with it. Wine is an integral part of our culture and more wine is consumed today than ever before. Supermarket shelves that once carried only box wine and jugs are now lined with wines from Australia, Chile, and South Africa. Aerial imaging and infrared photography once used by NASA to map the moon is now employed by wineries to analyze soil, vine vigor, and even disease. Paying tribute to wine's unique history we will travel the world over to explore wineries, the worlds' most historic wine cellar and the oldest restaurant in Paris.moreless
  • Breakfast Tech
    Breakfast Tech
    Episode 53
    It slices and squeezes, sorts and sizes, mixes and cooks. Every morning we count on it to keep our orange juice fresh, our eggs whole, our cereals flaked, and our McGriddle syrupy--this is Breakfast Tech.
  • Forensic Science: The Crimefighter's Weapon
    From informants to detectives, using fingerprints, hair, fibers, skin cells & DNA to solve crimes.
  • Supermarket
    Episode 52
    Our basic need and desire for food has made the supermarket one of the great success stories of modern retailing. Making customers' visits to the market as efficient as possible has led to bar coding and a scale that recognizes the type of produce placed on it. Explore the psychology of the supermarket including store layout, lighting, music and aromas that trigger the appetite. With a growing percentage of the public interested in eating healthier foods, organic grocers are carving out an increasingly large niche.moreless
  • Tobacco
    Episode 51
    Discovered around 18,000 years ago, tobacco was first cultivated in the Andes between 5000 and 3000 B.C. At a modern tobacco farm in North Carolina, a farmer will show how the crop is harvested and cured and visit the Fuente cigar plantation in the Dominican Republic. While tobacco has brought pleasure to countless smokers the world over--it has sent millions to an early grave. In an interview with the Surgeon General, explore this leading public health issue. The show will also look at smokeless methods of consumption as well as explore the use of nicotine replacement therapy.moreless
  • The World's Longest Bridge
    Modern Marvels takes a look at the incredible effort the Japanese made to build the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, currently the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world.
  • Tomcat Sunset
    Episode 50
    Hosted by Terry Deitz, a former Tomcat pilot, this special explores the legacy of one of the greatest fighter jets ever built. Witness first hand the last F-14 catapult launches and arrested trap landings aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Hear what the aviators and sailors who have flown and maintained this iconic aircraft over the years have to say about its long lived active duty career. Deitz will ride shotgun one last time before the F-14 is retired. Then reflect with veteran pilots, Navy brass, and airplane enthusiasts as the world bids farewell at the F-14 Memorial and Final Flight Ceremony at the Naval Air Station in Oceana, VA.moreless
  • World's Strongest
    World's Strongest
    Episode 49
    Strength...a powerful word, but what does it mean? How is it measured? Why are some things simply stronger than others. How strong is a rope, a tractor, a diamond, a tugboat or even plastic. How and why strength matther to us every day.
  • Distilleries 2
    Distilleries 2
    Episode 48
    It's an art, it's a science and it's a marriage of vapor and water. From the elite to the illegal, the banned, to the celebrated, the distillation of spirits is a 50 billion dollar a year business. Visit brandy, liqueur, moonshine, and absinthe distilleries to see how this magic is done.moreless
  • Ink
    Episode 47
    Invented by the Chinese in about 3000BC, it spread the word of God and war. It set us free and spelled out our rights. It tells stories, sells products and solves crimes. It's ink and it's everywhere!
  • Stealth & Beyond: Sea Stealth
    It's one thing to make a 60-foot-long jet aircraft seem invisible, but quite another to hide a 400-foot-long warship from the prying eyes of an enemy. Explore the challenging world of stealth technology at sea and how modern engineering can make our largest warships appear to be tugboats or fishing vesselsmoreless
  • Stealth & Beyond: Air Stealth
    They are the swarthy eagles of the sky: Past, present, and future advances in stealth military aircraft
  • Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway
    The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is comprised of a system of canals, land cuts, and a series of natural and artificial barrier islands, which provide a protected passage for low-draft vessels wishing to avoid the tumultuous currents of the Atlantic Ocean
  • Cities of the Underworld
    Teamed with leading archeologists and experts, peel back the layers of the past--to reveal a hidden history that hasn't seen the light of day for ages.
  • Freight Trains
    Freight Trains
    Episode 42
    Explore the history of freight transportation from its humble beginnings as tramways in mines to complex system of rails that stretches to every corner of the nation.
  • Renewable Energy
    Renewable Energy
    Episode 41
    Take an in-depth look at the most proven and reliable sources: solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, and tidal power. From the experimental to the tried-and-true, renewable energy sources are overflowing with potential... just waiting to be exploited on a massive scale.
  • Horsepower
    Episode 40
    Buckle up for a rip-roaring ride through the world of extreme horsepower. Experience the fastest accelerating cars on earth. Find out how horsepower was first coined as a marketing tool for the steam engine in the early 1800s and meet the horsepower police--the Society of Automotive Engineers who test today's most powerful car engines. Feel the amazing power of Unlimited Hydroplane racing as 3-ton boat-beasts careen across water at speeds of over 200 miles per hour. Journey to the bowels of an enormous container ship where the world's most powerful diesel engine provides over 100,000 horsepower. At the Hoover Dam, watch as it harnesses the enormous power of water. Explore the 80,000 horsepower pumping units at the Edmonston Pumping Plant that delivers 2-billion gallons of water a day to thirsty Californians. And sit behind the steering wheel of a new generation of hybrid cars that boast 400-horsepower yet get 42 miles per gallon of gas.moreless
  • Building In The Name Of God
    The greatest religious structures are marvels of engineering, technology, and invention, representing not only the glory of God, but also the ingenuity of man.
  • Shotguns
    Episode 38
    The first specialized gun, the British upper-class used it to shoot birds and small game for sport. The shotgun took on a variety of roles, used by hunter and warrior alike.
  • Copper
    Episode 37
    It transports electricity, water, and heat. It brings music to our ears and beauty to our eyes. Copper--its impressive traits, long history, and how it's mined. This versatile metal’s most famous attribute is its ability to conduct electricity.
  • Cola Wars
    Cola Wars
    Episode 36
    Coke vs Pepsi for world supremacy. Each year, Americans consume more soft drinks than tap water. Available in nearly 200 countries, Coca-Cola alone sells one-billion bottles, cans, and glasses of pop daily, with archenemy Pepsi-Cola a close second. We look at the legendary rivalry between these giants in a $100-billion industry built on little more than sugar and water as they battle not just to quench consumer thirst, but for their hearts and minds as wellmoreless
  • Water
    Episode 35
    Water, the most needed substance for life, so powerful it can carve our landscape, yet so nurturing it can spawn life and support its intricate matrix.
  • Levees
    Episode 34
    From collapsing floodwalls in New Orleans to high-tech mechanical storm surge barriers in Europe, we'll explore the 2,500-year history of keeping rivers and tides at bay by erecting levees.
  • Mummy Tech
    Mummy Tech
    Episode 33
    After thousands of years, Egyptian mummies are speaking from the grave. With the use of state-of-the-art computer tomography scanning we explore inside a 2,000-year-old mummified body of an Egyptian child.
  • Batteries
    Episode 32
    They keep going and going and going, from the smallest to the biggest, see how they're made, what they power and where they're headed.
  • Nuts
    Episode 28
    Pintsized as a pea or big as a bowling ball, nutritional, durable, and versatile, nuts have been a staple of the human diet since time began, and archaeological evidence places them among our earliest foods. Nuts sustained the imperial armies of Rome and China, the royal navies of England and Spain, and the native tribes that roamed the American wilderness.moreless
  • Super Tools: Skyscraper
    Skyscrapers are an extraordinary feat of human engineering: exposing millions of pounds of concrete and steel to the enemy forces of wind and gravity. Starting with the foundation and on through the support structures and concrete flooring, every piece of these superstructures has to be super-strong. Go behind the scenes with the five tools that make these buildings possible: the foundation drill rig, the tower crane, the impact wrench, the power trowel, and the total station.moreless
  • World's Biggest Machines 5
    Join us for another look at big machines. At NASA's Ames Research Center, we visit the world's biggest wind tunnel, part of the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex, and one of the biggest and most complex flight simulators, NASA's Vertical Motion Simulator, or VMS. At the Joy Mining Machinery plant in Franklin, Pennsylvania, giant machine tools form, cut, and measure the enormous individual parts that make up a Continuous Miner, the biggest underground mining machine in the world. But big machines aren't limited to science and commerce. Ride with us on the biggest observation wheel in the world, the London Eye, which stands 443 feet high and provides a 360 degree unobstructed view of London. And we take a look at IMAX technology. The film, cameras, projectors, and theater screens are the largest in the world. Finally, we take a ride on every lawn tender's dream machine--the Claas Cougar, the world's biggest lawnmower.moreless
  • Boneyard: Where Machines End Their Lives
    Where do machines go when they die? From B-52 Bombers to massive aircraft carriers, from passenger cars to Cold War cruise missiles and remnants of the Twin Towers, all that we manufacture has a lifespan. But reaching the end of their original purposes can be just the beginning.
  • Pirate Tech
    Episode 23
    Bold, cunning, and audacious, pirates are a breed of fighting men and women who have terrorized the high seas since before recorded history. At the height of their power in the 1700's they literally influenced the fate of nations when they became embroiled in the rivalry between England and Spain. This special will visit maritime museums and shipwreck sites, utilize walk-and-talk demonstrations of fire arms, swords, and navigation instruments to help spotlight the innovations pirates brought to maritime technology. Includes a look at how many pirates modified their ships to make them faster and more powerful.moreless
  • High Explosives
    High Explosives
    Episode 22
    Since the creation of black powder in China centuries ago, explosives have been decisive on the battlefield. Follow their incendiary story from ancient times right up to today's plastic demolitions.
  • BBQ Tech
    BBQ Tech
    Episode 20
    An old-fashioned style of cooking, barbecue has evolved into a modern food craze and spawned a multi-billion dollar industry. We digest famous barbecue cook-offs and visit long-established barbecue restaurants like Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City, where the huge grills and taste thrills of true barbecue are more popular than ever. At home, three out of four US households own a grill. After WWII's end, the phenomenon of backyard barbecuing swept the nation, thanks to inexpensive and mass-produced grills, including the kettle-shaped Weber. Our tour of Weber's modern factories shows how they keep pace with demand by manufacturing more choices than ever, including portable mini-grills. We also examine the variety of fuels available for the savory selection of spicy sauces and rubs. Join us as we devour the mouthwatering flavors of BBQ in this episode.moreless
  • Money
    Episode 19
    How does America make money--literally? We visit the United States Mint and the Bureau of Printing and Engraving to see the secretive government facilities where our legal tender is generated. With a storied past as tantalizing as the wealth they create, these mints can spit out fortunes in an hour and keep our economy flowing.moreless
  • Heavy Metals
    Heavy Metals
    Episode 19
    They are elements that occupy a select portion of the periodic table and are so essential to America's economic and military might that they are stored in the National Defense Stockpile in case of all-out war. We plan a riveting visit. Some of the vital heavy metals that we survey include copper, uranium, lead, zinc, and nickel. We also take a look at superalloys--consisting of steel combined with chromium, cobalt, and dozens of other heavy metals--that resist corrosion and perform increasingly elaborate functions. From Earth to space, from cosmetics to vitamins, in a million different ways, heavy metals are here to stay!moreless
  • Copper Kings
    Copper Kings
    Episode 17
    More than a century ago two men controlled nearly all of U.S. copper production, transforming Butte, Montana from a washed-up gold-mining camp into a global powerhouse. William Clark, a ruthless banker known for preying on the misfortune of miners and Marcus Daly, a self-made man with a knack for knowing where to dig, created huge empires and lived like kings, while fighting a ferocious, personal, battle that lasted nearly 25 years.moreless
  • Ben Franklin Tech
    Ben Franklin Tech
    Episode 16
    One of the most prodigious American inventors, Ben Franklin is credited for creating things like the lightning rod, the armonica, the Franklin stove, bifocal glasses, and the flexible urinary catheter. In this episode of Modern Marvels, we examine how Dr. Franklin's inventive genius extended to things like Daylight Savings Time and the voluntary fire department.moreless
  • '80's Tech
    '80's Tech
    Episode 15
    Modern Marvels takes a trip back in time, all the way back to the 1980s, to examine some of the most popular gadgets and fads. This includes Sony's Walkman, Rubik's Cube, DeLorean DMC-12, and of course the microchip which changed electronics forever.
  • Drilling
    Episode 14
    The program features the quest to drill the deepest hole ever and the scientific drill ship expected to perform the feat, and also looks at drills used to recover ice cores that will unearth thousands of years of climate history.
  • Shovels
    Episode 13
    Man has always had a need to move large amounts of earth. In this episode, we profile the technological advances which have allowed shovels to become absolutely enormous, capable of carrying 200 tons of earth in one load today.
  • Hi-Tech Hitler
    Hi-Tech Hitler
    Episode 12
    This is the true story of the scientific feats and failures of Hitler's Nazi Germany.
  • Insulation
    Episode 11
    Although quite simple in nature, insulation is a very important component in keeping our homes a comfortable temperature. In this episode, we'll find out the history of insulation and then visit manufacturing plants to find out how insulation is being made today.
  • Engineering Disasters 19
    More engineering disasters are profiled, including the sinking of SS Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975 in Lake Superior; two Boeing 737 crashes; and a diesel-fuel leak.
  • Leather
    Episode 9
    Made by the tanning of animal hides, leather has proven to be a versatile and important material. Without it, the Pilgrims may not have survived the winters in Plymouth, and the Romans may not have been able to march to the Tigris.
  • Engineering Disasters: New Orleans
    Modern Marvels examines the destruction Hurricane Katrina caused in New Orleans.
  • Nature Tech: Avalanches
    Modern Marvels takes a look at the destruction avalanches can cause.
  • Weird Weapons: The Axis
    Modern Marvels takes a look at some of the strangest weapons used by Axis forces in WW II.
  • Candy
    Episode 5
    Modern Marvels examines how millions of pounds of chocolates and other candies are made every year.
  • Engineering Disasters 18
    Modern Marvels shows more of the world's biggest engineering disasters. We look at faults in the U.S. Army's Stryker Light Armored Vehicle, the Sunjiawan coal-mine explosion in China in 2005, the death of three iron workers at Milwaukee's Miller Park in 1999, and much more
  • Cotton
    Episode 3
    Tune in as Modern Marvels looks into the history of cotton, a product used in hundreds of different products, from clothing to lipstick.
  • Fire
    Episode 2
    Modern Marvels takes a look at the important role that fire has played in technological advances as well as warfare.
  • Containers
    Episode 1
    Modern Marvels examines how we use containers for shipping, storage, housing, and everything between.