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.

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Upcoming episodes

Sep 16th
1100a

Pacific Coast Highway

For 25 years, construction crews dug, blasted, tunneled, and bridged their way up America's West Coast along the California, Oregon, and Washington shoreline to build the Pacific Coast Highway. Historians, road and bridge engineers, and experts relate this story of perseverance, primal machines, convict labor, and engineering brilliance as we tour its scenic route. And we look at the latest technologies used to keeping it running despite floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides.
Sep 16th
600p

Panama Canal

Chronicles one of the most incredible engineering feats of all time--the construction of the 51-mile canal that took 10 years to build and employed over 40,000 workers--6,000 of whom died of yellow fever, malaria, and other horrors. An earlier, nine-year French attempt to build the canal ended in failure and cost 20,000 lives.
Sep 16th
700p

Paving America

The story of the construction of our grand national highway system, from its beginnings in 1912 (it was conceived by auto and headlight tycoons) to its completion in 1984 (when the last stoplight was removed--and buried).
Sep 16th
800p

Roller Coasters

They are the centerpiece of all great amusement parks, heart-stopping rides with names like 'The Cyclone' and 'The Beast'.
Sep 17th
900a

Time Machine

Ever wonder how today's technology works? Modern Marvels goes behind the world's most fascinating innovations to see how they came to be.
Sep 17th
1000a

Aqueducts: Man Made Rivers Of Life

The Romans were famous for their aqueducts, and without them some of the world's largest cities would turn to gigantic ghost towns. Though the technology has existed for over 2,000 years, today these engineering marvels cost billions of dollars to build. We'll focus on Los Angeles' and San Francisco's systems.
Sep 17th
1100a

Firefighting! The Arson Detectives

Meet crime fighters who take on fiery killers. In Houston, visit the site of a suspicious fire with Fire Marshall Lalo Torres as he turns ashes into evidence. Former A.T.F. head Richard Garner explains motives behind the recent church fires. And at the California Criminalists Institute, John DeHaan trains special arson dogs.
Sep 17th
600p

Assembly Line

This program will focus primarily on the industries responsible for it's development as well as significant inventions and world events influential in its growth. We will hear from four generations of assembly line workers who will provide some perspective, heart and soul for this revolutionary production technique.
Sep 17th
700p

Aswan Dam

July, 2004 is the 35th anniversary of the completion of the Aswan Dam. In 1954, Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Arab Republic of Egypt's first prime minister, had a plan to bring his poor country into the 20th century. To pull it off, he needed to harness the flow of the world's longest river - the Nile. The ambitious plan called for the construction of a high dam in southern Egypt at Aswan. Bu the builders of the pyramids and the Suez Canal were no strangers to large undertakings. We'll see how the Aswan High Dam socially, politically, culturally, and agriculturally affected Egypt.
Sep 17th
800p

Axes, Swords And Knives

Blade implements have been a part of civilized man's journey since the Paleolithic Age, when sharp tools were chipped off of flint or obsidian. But with the discovery of metallurgy, people were able to forge stronger, more versatile blade implements. We visit an axe-throwing contest in Wisconsin for an introduction to the least subtle of the blade tools. Then we visit a swordsmith and an experienced swordfighter who work in traditional methods from ancient sources, and review the history of knives.