Modern Marvels

About the show

Celebrating ingenuity, invention and imagination on a grand scale, "Modern Marvels" tells the amazing stories of the doers, dreamers and sometime-schemers who create everyday items, technological advancements and manmade wonders.


Upcoming episodes

Mar 25th

Tool Bench, The: 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.
Mar 25th


Fast and powerful, they come in a hundred shapes and a thousand colors. To some, motorcycles symbolize freedom; to others, they simply stand for trouble! We race back in time and see how, for over a hundred years, motorcycles have tantilized riders with a promise of unparalleled speed and endless adventure!
Mar 25th


DYNAMITE had been responsible for blasting out the natural resources that have built our world. DYNAMITE is also credited with building the roads, tunnels, and dams that have provided us with energy and transportation.
Mar 25th


This show will chronicle the rich history of tea from the 17th century onward. Tea was incredibly popular in Britain, more so than anywhere else in Europe. High taxes encouraged massive smuggling, which led to adulterations and dilutions in the mid-18th century. Tea currently is produced in 36 countries, though most of the tea in the world still comes from China, India and Sri Lanka.
Mar 25th

The Potato

The Potato is among the most versatile, nutritious, and varied foodstuffs in the world. It's the ultimate comfort food. We'll travel from the Potato's mysterious origins in the South American Andes to the ethnic enclaves of New York's lower Eastside, for some tasty Potato Knishes. In Northern Maine we'll discover a farmer of exotic potatoes: blue, green, pink, and dark purple varieties. We'll reveal how large-scale potato producers in Idaho and Pennsylvania slice, dice, freeze, and dehydrate millions of pounds of spuds annually. We'll learn how to mass produce Tater tots and Kettle Potato Chips. Potato Vodka now scores near perfection in international tasting competitions, and we'll visit a Maine distillery at the top of their game.
Mar 25th

The Real National Treasure

Where in Washington D.C. is the nation's most incredible treasure chest? It's a library unlike any other in the world, the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Viewers are taken beyond the magnificent Jefferson Building Great Hall into the secret vaults where more than 600 miles of shelves hold 130 million items, many of them priceless treasures -- from George Washington's hand-written diaries to Galileo's first images of the moon to the original camera film of the movie Frankenstein. A staff of 4000 librarians catalogues, protects and preserves these treasures and distributes them globally via a new World Digital Library.
Mar 25th


Modern Marvels explores the ways we enter and exit. We'll take a look at the tallest doors in the world at the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. We'll visit a company that makes blast doors and bulletproof doors. We'll learn about the surprisingly complex process involved in making home doors, as well as what goes into those commercial entries & exits we use everyday- the revolving door and the turnstile. The Southwestern Foundation for Biomedical Research lets us through the airlock into their level 4 biohazard lab. The Cleveland Federal Reserve doesn't even send people into their vaults; it's robots that go in and out. We'll try some aviation entries and exits- the jetway we use to board a plane, the airplane emergency exit procedures we hope to never use, and ejection seats, the fastest exit anywhere.
Mar 25th

Keep Out

KEEP OUT! Either someone has something to protect, or it's dangerous in there. Challenge the world's best safecracker to defeat a bank vault, and see the methods a bank uses to protect its money and tellers. Travel to New Mexico to find out how the government plans to keep people away from a nuclear waste site for the next 10,000 years. Tour Master Lock to see how padlocks and combination locks are made. See how facial recognition, irises, and even vein structure "unlock" biometric locks. With Customs and Border Protection, see how officers stop illegal aliens and contraband from entering the U.S. Finally, see how cages and other deterrents tell sharks to KEEP OUT!
Mar 25th


It's the only rock we eat, and we need it to live. Throughout history, those who had salt ruled the world - and today, this versatile substance has 14,000 known uses. Our cameras travel to a salt mine 1,800 feet below Lake Erie where workers blast salt from a massive deposit spanning four states...then to an evaporation facility near San Francisco where machines harvest salt from the briny sea. We'll travel to a Florida restaurant that offers 40 different varieties of salt...and to New York to explore salt's surprising number one application: de-icing snowy winter roads. We'll also see how a hi-tech desalination plant removes salt from ocean water, producing 25 million gallons of drinkable water every day. And if it's speed you're after, come with us to Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats.
Mar 26th

Secret Underground

Just below the surface, there's a whole different America hidden from public view. Take a revealing look at the America under our feet, from secret military installations, and experimental farms to tunnel networks and neutron lasers.