Season 2 (17)

20 Seasons | 177 Episodes

 1 Space Shuttle
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Space Shuttle

Aired on Jan 03, 1996
Considered by many to be the most astounding machine ever built, this reusable spaceship is the apex of flight technology. This program recounts the challenges and the critical issues that led to NASA's decision to create an "airplane" to navigate space.
Episode 2 Las Vegas
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Las Vegas

Aired on Jan 06, 1996

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
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The Tennessee Valley Authority

Aired on Jan 07, 1996
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.
 4 Silver Mines
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Silver Mines

Aired on Jan 14, 1996

Used in technology, photography, and decorative arts, silver is one of the most versatile metals known to man. In this episode of Modern Marvels we’ll explore the methods, men and machines that extract this precious resource from the earth. In Northern Idaho’s Lucky Friday mine, workers toil more than a mile underground in an around-the-clock cycle of blasting and hauling silver laden rock. While in the wilds of northern Nevada, large machines and even larger ore loads make the vast Rochester open pit mine one of the most productive silver mines in the United States. Both these facilities owe their methods to the silver strike that started it all: Nevada’s famous Comstock Lode of the mid 19th Century. From some of the largest steam engines ever built, to robotic mining machines that work without human intervention, we’ll examine the past, present and future of silver mines.

Episode 5 Grand Coulee Dam
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Grand Coulee Dam

Aired on Jan 27, 1996
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
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Golden Gate Bridge

Aired on Feb 03, 1996

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
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Aired on Nov 09, 1995

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.

 8 Trans-Continental Railroad
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Trans-Continental Railroad

Aired on Feb 04, 1996
With California finally part of the United States, two rail companies raced to connect the monied East and the promising West. Along the way, fortunes would be made, lives lost, and adversity overcome. This is the story of the largest, most expensive challenge of the 19th century.
 9 The Railroads that Tamed the West
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The Railroads that Tamed the West

Aired on Feb 04, 1996

The year was 1869 and America had just completed the greatest building achievement in its history–the Transcontinental Railroad. A thin ribbon of steel and wood now connected East and West. But the fledgling country now faced an even greater challenge–how to harness the awesome potential of the railroad to tame the still wide-open and wild West.

 10 Mt. Rushmore
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Mt. Rushmore

Aired on Feb 11, 1996

The incredible tale of how Gutzon Borglum created the world’s largest sculpture by carving the faces of four US presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln) into the Black Hills of South Dakota. The four figures carved in stone pay tribute to the first 150 years of American history. The hour chronicles the “swiveled pointer” that Borglum put in each president’s “head”, and how workmen hung like spiders 6,000 feet above the ground to blast away 450,000 tons of rock.

 11 Ocean Liners
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Ocean Liners

Aired on Feb 18, 1996

With technological advances, our ancient struggle against the sea has turned into a luxurious holiday. Come aboard for a peek at the elegant life on these floating resorts.

Episode 12 Panama Canal
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Panama Canal

Aired on Feb 25, 1996

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
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Monuments To Freedom: The People's House

Aired on Feb 29, 1996

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
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Gothic Cathedrals

Aired on Mar 09, 1996

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
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Eiffel Tower

Aired on Mar 10, 1996

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

 16 Empire State Building
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Empire State Building

Aired on Mar 24, 1996

Discover the remarkable story of how this landmark New York City skyscraper was constructed during the depths of the Great Depression.

 17 Domed Stadiums
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Domed Stadiums

Aired on Apr 14, 1996

The domed structure is one of the earliest forms of shelter–from African mud huts to frozen igloos to holy shrines and cathedrals. As a design concept, the shape represents the community under the canopy of heaven; as a technological device, the dome is the most efficient way of controlling an internal environment. And today, as we see here, engineers have enlarged and transformed the ancient concept to build some of the world’s most spectacular structures–domed sports stadiums.

Episode 18 Tunnels
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Aired on Apr 27, 1996

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
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Paving America

Aired on Jun 16, 1996

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).

 20 Brooklyn Bridge
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Brooklyn Bridge

Aired on Jun 30, 1996

It was an engineering feat of almost miraculous proportions and a design of spectacular elegance. Rare photographs and behind-the-scenes stories recall the politics, the struggles, and the tragedies that made possible “the Eighth Wonder of the World”.

Episode 21 The Phonograph
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The Phonograph

Aired on Sep 08, 1996

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 22 The Electric Light
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The Electric Light

Aired on Sep 08, 1996

Considered one of Thomas Edison’s most famous innovations, the electric bulb changed the world we live in by literally putting the power to control light at our fingertips.

Episode 23 The Motion Picture
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The Motion Picture

Aired on Sep 08, 1996

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
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Television: Window to the World

Aired on Oct 20, 1996

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
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The Computer

Aired on Nov 24, 1996

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
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The Camera

Aired on Dec 15, 1996

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.

 28 Stealth Technology
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Stealth Technology

Aired on Feb 16, 1997

A look at the F-117 Stealth Fighter that led the pack for the Allies in the Gulf War and virtually decimated Baghdad. Find out how the technology allows it to approach its target without being detected by radar. Also, a look at the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

 29 Pyramids: Majesty and Mystery
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Pyramids: Majesty and Mystery

Aired on Mar 23, 1997

Standing majestically for centuries, the world’s great pyramids have long inspired and mystified. Leading experts and historians explore the engineering genius that created some of the largest structures on the planet, from ancient Egypt to Central America.

Episode 30 Roller Coasters
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Roller Coasters

Aired on Apr 13, 1997

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?

 31 Observatories: Stonehenge To Space Telescopes
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Observatories: Stonehenge To Space Telescopes

Aired on Jun 08, 1997

From Stonehenge to the Hubble Telescope, man has always been a species of stargazers. Unforgettable film footage and expert accounts reveal the facts of astronomy’s most mind-boggling discoveries.

 32 The Great Wall Of China
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The Great Wall Of China

Aired on Jun 22, 1997

Modern Marvels : The Great Wall Of China

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