Modern Marvels - Season 6

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


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Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 8/17/2005

Season 12 : Episode 42

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AIRS ON 6/21/2018

Season 12 : Episode 42

Episode Guide

  • Lost Marvels
    Lost Marvels
    Episode 48
    The last episode of Season 6 of Modern Marvels, entitled Lost Marvels aired on December 15, 1999. This episode takes a closer look at older innovations like the canals, gadgets, bridges and more. Examining the decline in their use, or their loss from memory as they are replaced with new models or new inventions.moreless
  • Casino Technology
    Casino Technology
    Episode 47
    Place your bets and join us for an exciting spin through the history of the casino. We'll go behind the neon lights, free drinks, and 24-hour gambling to see how the gaming industry has evolved from a simple house of cards to a high-tech multi-billion dollar industry.
  • Niagara Power
    Niagara Power
    Episode 46
    An exploration of the rich history of one of the world's greatest technological achievements--the harnessing of power from Niagara Falls. From the "War of the Currents", a battle between geniuses Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, to the Robert Moses Plant, primed to take the powerhouse into the 21st century, we highlight its story.moreless
  • Engineering Disasters 2
    Engineering Disasters 2 is the second part of Engineering Disasters, season 6 episode 45 from the popular History Channel series Modern Marvels which aired November 29, 1999. In this episode the Modern Marvels team takes and in-depth look at projects that promised advancement but ended in engineering disasters. The team looks at the causes of the disasters from natural, man-made or structural issues.moreless
  • Security Systems
    Security Systems
    Episode 44
    Since civilization's earliest days, man has sought protection from those who would rob him of riches, knowledge, and even life. This is the story of the evolving systems designed to safeguard our most precious possessions, and of the enduring psychological war between protectors and thieves, each intent on outfoxing the other.moreless
  • Built By Hand
    Episode 43
    We live in a highly mechanized world in which billions of products are made by machines--but there are some things that can be built only by using an even more sophisticated tool--the human hand. In New Mexico, a pilot who builds his own jet-powered glider takes to the skies--his very life depending on his handiwork. Canoe makers in Montana, and a knife maker in Washington, handcraft items so unique that customers are willing to pay significantly higher prices than if they were machine made. In the farmlands of Central California, craftsmen keep alive the ancient art of weapon making--see their gleaming suits of armor in action, as weekend warriors do battle. Ever wonder how those impressive animal skeletons in museums are constructed? The artists of Skulls International in Oklahoma City share their secrets. And in Hollywood, the Chiodo brothers reveal how handmade special effects have a charm and character that today's computer animators can't duplicate.moreless
  • Motorcycles
    Episode 43
    Set the sedan's safety brake and hop on your "hog" for a 2-hour high-speed history of the motorcycle--from the 1868 "steam velocipede" to the early 20th century, when they were a low-cost alternative to automobiles; from Harley-Davidsons preferred by Hell's Angels and police to motocross riders who take bikes into the air and onto the dirt. We also look to the motorcycle's future, featuring Jay Leno's jet-propelled Y2K sportbike and Erik Buell's bike-without-a-gas-tank creation.moreless
  • Demolition
    Episode 42
    While a civilization's greatness is reflected in the achievements of architects and engineers, equally impressive are spectacular acts of destruction throughout history. The cycle of construction and destruction reflects the shifting values of any given era. We'll trace the evolution of planned destruction from ancient to modern-day.
  • Emergency Room
    Emergency Room
    Episode 41
    One hundred million Americans will use an emergency room this year. From stitches to gunshot wounds, the flu to heart attacks, the men and women who work in these pressure-packed places are at the front line of the battle against death. This episode goes inside a busy emergency room to see how the paramedics, doctors and nurses work together. As the cameras roll, these real-life heroes fight a variety of ailments and injuries, constantly adjusting to the flow of new patients and swiftly changing situations. Trace the development of the machines that have transformed the face of emergency medicine, from the ambulance to the electrocardiograph, and see how medical techniques have evolved over the years. And find out why Mt. Everest may hold the key to the future of emergency medicine.moreless
  • Forts
    Episode 40
    Fortification evolved along with man's need to defend his territory from attack. From hills surrounded by fences to walled cities to impenetrable castles, these strongholds of the past echo the history of battles for territorial control. Join us as we learn how, as weaponry grew in sophistication, those walls came tumbling down.moreless
  • Earth Movers II
    Earth Movers II
    Episode 39
    Earth Movers II or More Earth Movers is episode 39 of season 6 of the popular History Channel show Modern Marvels which aired on December 13, 1999. This episode focused on common earth moving equipment such as dump trucks, scoopers and plows, as well as more unusual underground earth moving equipment and earth movers designed for use on other planets.moreless
  • More Earthmovers
    More Earthmovers
    Episode 39
    Join us for a second look at the big earth-moving machines used to tackle the most challenging jobs on, under, and off Earth! We'll ride on specialized behemoth dump trucks, delve below sea level to view dredging equipment, and leave the planet altogether to explore earthmoving equipment in space.
  • The Tool Bench: Hand Tools
    Well over 2-million years before modern man evolved, his primitive ancestors were making tools. The ability to extend the hand and strengthen the arm is considered one of the keys to human evolution. Join us as we nail down the history of hand tools, and look at a new generation of computer-designed, high-tech hand tools.moreless
  • The Tool Bench: Power Tools
    The history of civilization could easily be measured in terms of our ability to make, use, and improve tools--an activity that is at least 4-million years old! At the tip of our toolmaking timeline are power tools. We'll examine today's power tool industry, which is booming thanks to more powerful, lighter, and quieter cordless tools.moreless
  • Simulators
    Episode 36
    In the cockpit of a multi-million dollar jet fighter, a pilot makes a split second mistake that ends in disaster. After talking to his instructor, he takes off for a second "flight" in his simulator. SIMULATORS have made training for many professions far safer, more effective and less expensive than it would be if the students were in command of the real thing. MODERN MARVELS traces the history of these "synthetic reality" devices back to the 1929 Link Pilot Trainer, an open cockpit mounted to a universal joint and activated by pipe organ bellows. From this inauspicious beginning, simulators have developed into extraordinarily sophisticated devices that can emulate entire tank battles, the passage of supertankers through narrow, storm-tossed straits, and landing jet airliners in dangerous conditions. Climb inside some of the multi-million dollar devices that offer an invaluable substitute for on-the-job training.moreless
  • The Atlantic Wall
    The Atlantic Wall
    Episode 35
    This episode uses captured Nazi documents, expert commentary, combat and archival footage and the recollections of the soldiers who lived through D-Day to tell the story of the most extensive defensive edifice erected since the Great Wall. The video visits the now-quiet coastlines where the remnants of the massive network remain and details the different defenses and weapons that were supposed to make the European coast impregnable. Then, see how the Allied commanders plotted their attack and hear from the soldiers who were charged with making their strategies work.moreless
  • Fireworks
    Episode 34
    Since the invention of gunpowder, fireworks have thrilled audiences around the world. We'll review highlights of fireworks exhibitions throughout history, and go behind the scenes to explore how science and art mingle in this unique, ancient craft. The world's preeminent fireworks families explain how they create their spectacles.
  • Newspapers
    Episode 33
    Since the 15th century, man has sated his hunger for information with newspapers. Their form has varied over the centuries, and their content adjusted to the changing desires of their readers (or publishers? whims), but until very recently, they seemed likely to be a vital part of human society forever. But as this episode shows, that future may be in doubt. The growing influence of the computer age and the widespread availability of instant information may eventually render the newspaper obsolete. Of course, we?re a long way from that day, and as this video proves, the daily news has survived much in the past.moreless
  • Parachutes
    Episode 32
    Venture back to the earliest days of aviation to see how the very first chutes were designed, made and used. Discover how, even during World War I, visionary commanders recognized the strategic possibilities of this life-saving tool--and set about using it for offensive purposes. See dramatic footage of some of the largest parachute jumps in history during World War II. Explore the growth of recreational jumping and see how it has sparked a new industry and spurred innumerable advances and refinements in parachute technology. Learn the previously top-secret stories of high-altitude jumps from the edge of space and see examples of parachutes from the days of silk and canvas to the high-tech, stunt chutes that daredevils use to wow audiences at airshows and exhibitions.moreless
  • New York Bridges
    Episode 30
    This episode visits the Brooklyn and George Washington Bridges, the Tri-Borough and the 59th Street. In the stone and steel of these edifices the history of modern bridge building can be seen. But they are more than just engineering marvels, and there are many more bridges than most people know. All-told, 18 spans link Manhattan to the mainland and Long Island, and each one has its own tale.moreless
  • Oakland Bay Bridge
    Oakland Bay Bridge
    Episode 29
    The great bridge of San Francisco, not the Golden Gate, this one: The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Over 500 feet above the water, more than 8 miles long. One of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the modern world.
  • Baseball Parks
    Baseball Parks
    Episode 28
    Take me out to the ballpark. The crack of the bat. The cries of the peanut vendor. The incredible engineering? To those who consider baseball a religion, the stadium is the temple at which they worship. But the modern park is also a marvel of design and construction. This episode traces the development of the old ballpark from the days of sandlots and bleachers to the retro stadiums with up-to-the-minute features that are bringing fans back to the game. Visit some of baseball's greatest shrines, including Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium and Camden Yards, and see how the years have changed the way they were conceived and built. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how they work and tour areas off-limits to the public. Hear from the men who built them and play in them, and get an early glimpse of what the 21st stadium may look like.moreless
  • Hoover Dam
    Episode 27
    By any measure, it was a daunting task to tame the Colorado River, the waterway that had carved out the Grand Canyon. To make things worse, the site chosen was in the middle of the desert, far removed from any towns or infrastructure. This episode ventures into the Southwestern Desert to tell the complete story of one of the seven engineering wonders of the world -- Hoover Dam. See incredible footage that documents every step of the monumental work of taming the Colorado to provide water and power to California, Nevada and Arizona. From the blueprints to reality, this is the story of the ingenuity and manpower that literally moved a river and sculpted a mountain of concrete. That it was completed in only seven years is all the more remarkable.moreless
  • Offshore Oil Drilling
    They are virtual cities stuck in the middle of some of the most dangerous seas on earth. Life on them is hard and fraught with danger from calamitous fires and the risk of storms and natural disasters. But fueled by the endless demand for oil and the unpredictable politics of the global economy, the search for fossil fuel has led to the creation of some of the most incredible structures ever made. This episode takes a fascinating look at how oilrigs are designed, deployed and run. Meet the engineers who must develop structures that can handle waves of up to 50 feet high and 100mph winds while extracting oil from thousands of feet below the seas? surface. Hear from industry insiders like Rich Pattarozzi, CEO of Shell Deepwater, Inc. and Jim Bowles, Vice President of Phillips Petroleum, Inc. See incredible footage of some of the worst disasters ever to strike them. And go aboard rigs worldwide for an up-close look at how they work.moreless
  • Dynamite
    Episode 25
    Join us for a highly charged hour as we see why Alfred Nobel's invention of dynamite took on earthshattering dimensions as his product blasted out the natural resources that built our modern world. We also examine its impact on construction of the roads, tunnels, and dams that provide us with energy and transportationmoreless
  • Scuba Diving & Underwater Breathing
    Scuba Diving & Underwater Breathing is an episode from the sixth season of the History Channel TV series Modern Marvels in which a panel of diving experts discusses the history of underwater breathing technology from its primitive beginnings to today's high tech equipment. What are the most recent advances? Find out.moreless
  • Rescue Technology
    Rescue Technology
    Episode 23
    A special edition of The History Channel's documentary show Modern Marvels, a series dealing with the history and development of the discoveries and inventions that underpin modern society. This episode of the science and technology series explores and celebrates some of the ingenious and lifesaving inventions used in modern rescue operations.moreless
  • U.S. Mints: Money Machines
    They are the physical engines of America's money machine, secretive agencies that design and manufacture the greenbacks that keep the nation's and the world's economy moving. This episode ventures inside these vital fortresses for a privileged glimpse of the work of making money. From engraving to circulation, watch as fortunes are created in instants, and see how new bills are put into circulation. Hear from Philip N. Diehl, Director of the United States Mint, and Robert Chandler, a historian for Wells Fargo, as they trace the fascinating history of the government's money business. And discover what the future may hold for American currency.moreless
  • Battlefield Medicine
    "He who would become a surgeon should join the army and follow it," Hippocrates counseled nearly 2,500 years ago. In this history of medicine under fire, we see how a small army of medics, nurses, surgeons, stretcher-bearers, and ambulance drivers, races to keep pace with the deadly advances of war.
  • Spy Technology
    Spy Technology
    Episode 20
    In the name of national security, the governments of the world have developed devices that could render privacy a quaint anachronism. But could this Orwellian nightmare ever really come to pass? Spy Technology traces the evolution of the tools of espionage over the past century, from drop boxes and rudimentary codes to the tiny, high-tech devices that are already far more prevalent than most people imagine. Get an up-close look at some of the most important spy equipment ever made, and hear James Bond-esque stories of their use in the Cold War and afterwards. And find out why there is no technical reason why the lessons learned spying on other countries might soon be put into use internally. It is no longer a question of feasibility, but of ethics?moreless
  • 2/22/99
    Throughout history, the builders and engineers who paved our way out of the caves and into the modern world have also caused some of our worst disasters. What happens when their calculations prove wrong and it all comes tumbling down? From Hammurabi's days, when the first building laws were instituted, to today's potential nuclear or chemical disasters that can spell death for thousands, we'll take a harrowing tour through some of history's greatest engineering mistakes.moreless
  • Airships
    Episode 15
    They are among the most romantic machines ever built, enormous craft held aloft by lighter-than-air gas trapped beneath their vast skins. In the 20th century, they have played a vital role in war, transportation and commerce and been involved in one of the most famous tragedies of all time. This episode tells the story of the inventors and innovations behind these fascinating flyers. Discover what distinguishes a blimp from a balloon from a zeppelin, and watch the footage of the Hindenburg's fiery destruction in New Jersey. Find out how the lessons learned during the heyday of lighter-than-air travel are sewing the seeds for a renaissance today and go aboard the new breed of Zeppelin that is once again taking to the skies over Europe.moreless
  • Mail Delivery: Erasing the Miles
    This episode goes behind the scenes of the world's largest communication agency to show how the mail gets through. Follow a typical letter on a remarkable journey where human hands may only touch it twice. Learn how the Post Office has changed through the years and get an up-close look at the technology the modern Post Office relies on. Historians probe the long past of the agency and reveal its gaffes and triumphs, while archival footage recalls the glory days of twice-daily delivery. And Postmaster General Marvin Runyon offers a privileged view of today's Post Office and the problems it faces as it prepares for a new millennium.moreless
  • Weather Predictions
    Episode 11
    A study of the discoveries, inventions, and technological advances that have helped us understand and predict weather accurately. From simple observations made by primitive humans, to early instruments such as thermometers and barometers, to Doppler radar and satellite imaging, we'll see how man has tried to harness weather.
  • Bombs
    Episode 9
    Bombs...the most feared and powerful weapon in any nation's arsenal. What began as incendiary devices in the 7th century has evolved into weapons that can literally blow the human race off the face of the earth! From the use of diseased carcasses flung over castle walls to Greek Fire to today's smart bombs, we review the evolution of bombs.moreless
  • Medical Imaging: The Voyage Inward
    The story of medical imaging, the technology that allows us to see inside the human body, is full of amazing stories. Learn how X-rays were discovered in 1895, completely by accident; how ultrasound was developed to locate enemy submarines; and how the CAT Scan might never have been built if it weren't for The Beatles!moreless
  • Antibiotics
    Episode 4
    As the development of antibiotics to combat diseases is traced, various modern medical marvels are examined. The journey begins with the early 19th century development of germ theory, and follows through to Louis Pasteur's late 19th century discovery of penicillin for the treatment of infectious diseases. In a more modern context, antibiotic resistance is examined.moreless
  • Las Vegas Hotels
    Las Vegas Hotels
    Episode 2
    Eleven of the world's largest hotels are in Las Vegas. The story of Las Vegas' emergence from the desert and transformation into one of the world's most stories destinations has been told many times, but this fascinating program zeroes in on the heart of the Mecca for tourism in Nevada the grand hotels that are some of the most sophisticated buildings ever constructed.moreless