Modern Marvels

Modern Marvels Season 2 Episodes

Find out how to watch Season 2 of Modern Marvels tonight at the American TV Listings Guide

Season 2 Episode Guide

Episode 2 - Las Vegas

Careful design mixed with cutting-edge technology has made Las Vegas an intoxicating oasis in the middle of a desert.


Episode 3 - The Tennessee Valley Authority

Tennessee: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporation in the United States created in May 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly hard hit by the Great Depression. The TVA was envisioned not only as an electricity provider, but also as a regional economic development agency that would use federal experts and electricity to rapidly modernize the region's economy and society. It was the first large regional planning agency of the federal government and remains the largest.


Episode 5 - Grand Coulee Dam

The world's largest concrete dam--and the second largest concrete structure in the world--lies on the Columbia River in the State of Washington. It is also one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the wrold, and it's huge irrigation pumps are big enought to pump dry most of the rivers in the United States. It's construction in an isolated and thinly populated area of the U.S. during the Depression years, was one of the greatest achievements of the Work Projects Administration, President Franklin Roosevelt's bid to restore prosperity and jobs to a nation in trouble. Constructed by Mason-Walsh-Atkinson-Kier Co. in 1931, it is 550 feet high and 4,173 feet in length.


Episode 6 - Golden Gate Bridge

Construction of the second-longest suspension bridge in the Unites States took 25 million man-hours and 80,000 miles of cable to complete�but the cost in human life proved high.


Episode 7 - Oil

From the first well in Pennsylvania to the gushing Spindletop and modern supertankers, the story of oil is the story of civilization as we know it. We'll take a look at the ingenious and outrageous men who risked everything for "black gold" and unimaginable wealth.


Episode 12 - Panama Canal

Chronicles one of the most incredible engineering feats of all time: 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, 9-year attempt by the French ended in failure and cost 20,000 lives.


Episode 13 - Monuments To Freedom: The People's House

The White House is more than the President's residence--it is a structure that both reflects the office and affects the man. As architecture, it suggests America's consensus on the nature of the Presidency. It is at once humble, genteel and stately. It avoids the aristocratic airs of European leadership in favor of an accessible office. And history has demonstrated that men exposed to the grace of the White House are absorbed by its American allure. It makes politicians "Presidential". It lifts them to a loftier plane of purpose. The President may live in the White House, but it is America's home.


Episode 14 - Gothic Cathedrals

Built of stone and glass, persistence and prayer, gothic cathedrals are an epiphany of imagination and an articulation of joy. Featured are such masterpieces as Chartres, Notre Dame and the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.


Episode 15 - Eiffel Tower

Conceived and constructed to astound the public at the 1889 Paris Exposition, the tower is a worldwide symbol of triumphant spirit and elegant artistry.


Episode 18 - Tunnels

There is no more potent demonstration of man's resolve than the design and construction of tunnels--avenues that slice through a conspiracy of elements in the single-minded determination to connect two points. Whether underwater, blasted through solid rock, or negotiating the shifting strata of earth's unstable crust, we explore the design and engineering of famous tunnels...and the motivation behind them.


Episode 19 - 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).


Episode 21 - The Phonograph

Thomas Edison registered over 1,000 patents, but his favorite invention was one of his first. Rare photographs and early recordings show how the young inventor and his team outfoxed Alexander Graham Bell.


Episode 23 - The Motion Picture

The complete story of the feuds, the mistakes, ingenuity, and successes that made movies possible--and kept Edison at the front of the inventor pack. Includes rare early films from the Edison Studios.


Episode 25 - Television: Window to the World

An exploration of the world's most popular entertainment, from the boy genius who invented it to the RCA General who made it a reality.


Episode 26 - The Computer

A look at the inventions that have revolutionized society as we know it. They began as behemoths which weighed over 2 tons!


Episode 27 - The Camera

A look at the history of photography beginning as early as the eleventh century. Includes the advancements by Niepce and Daguerre in the 19th century and William Henry Fox and George Eastman in the 20th century.


Episode 30 - Roller Coasters

Since the turn of the 20th century, designers have competed to build them faster, taller, and steeper. But as technology pushes the envelope with flips, weightlessness, and more g-force than a jet, how many thrills can the human body take?


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