HISTORY’s longest-running series moves to H2. Modern Marvels celebrates the ingenuity, invention and imagination found in the world around us. From commonplace items like ink and coffee to architectural masterpieces and engineering disasters, the hit series goes beyond the basics to provide insight and history into things we wonder about and that impact our lives. This series tells fascinating stories of the doers, the dreamers and sometime-schemers that create everyday items, technological breakthroughs and manmade wonders. The hit series goes deep to explore the leading edge of human inspiration and ambition.
Where to Watch Modern Marvels
Below you'll find every episode from all 19 season of Modern Marvels.
To see what is available free to watch, click the 'Episodes on Sources' tab above.
Season 1DirecTV Now | History | History Vault | Rent or Buy
S01 E01Dec 11, 1993
Grand Coulee Damn The world’s largest concrete dam–and the largest concrete structure in the world–lies on the Columbia River in the State of Washington. B uilt in 1931, it is also one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in the world.
S01 E01Dec 10, 1993
Grand Coulee Dam One of the world's largest concrete dams and largest concrete structures lies on the Columbia River in the State of Washington. Built in 1931, the Grand Coulee Dam is also one of the largest hydroelectric power plants. We'll explore this technological wonder.
S01 E02Jan 21, 1994
The Empire State Building The Empire State building rose to become the world's tallest man-made structure at a time when dreams were in short supply. Planned during the 1920s, construction was almost grounded by the Depression until the "Cathedral of Dreams" came to symbolize the indomitable American spirit. "Two stories a day" became the mission. Up went the rivets, the steel and the fearless men. In just two years the miracle of engineering was finished, justifying a nation's belief in itself. Here is the colorful story of this beloved building, including the innovations it inspired, and its enduring popularity today. From the first plans to the final rivet, explore the incredible story of the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING.
S01 E02Jan 22, 1994
The Empire State Building The remarkable story of how the landmark New York City skyscraper was constructed during the depths of the Depression. Requiring 10 million bricks and 60,000 tons of steel beams and using a revolutionary technique to hold the steel girders in place–hot rivets–the world’s tallest building was completed four months ahead of schedule.
S01 E03Feb 10, 2016
The Capital Threat Nature attacks Washington DC and Los Angeles. The fate of the Constitution and other monuments. Wilted palm trees help spread a massive inferno, while another capital emerges in the Pacific Ocean.
S01 E03Jan 2, 1995
The 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.
Season 2DirecTV Now | History | Rent or Buy
S02 E01Feb 4, 1996
The Railroads That Tamed The West 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.
S02 E01Feb 5, 1996
Balloons Join us for a buoyant trip through the history of balloon flight and a tribute to the fearless pilots and engineers brave enough to push the limits of balloon technology into the next weather front, or the next frontier. We’ll demonstrate their diversified applications and talk to pioneers who designed and flew them.
S02 E02Feb 12, 1996
The Transcontinental Railroad 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.
S02 E03Sep 3, 1996
Las Vegas Rising from a stretch of desert with nothing but remoteness to recommend it, Las Vegas became a glittering wonderland for dreamers. We’ll take a look at the forces that made Las Vegas a place unlike any on earth.
S02 E04Mar 20, 1995
The Eiffel Tower To the people of France, and to citizens of the world, Gustav Eiffel’s 320-meter Tower is more than an unsurpassed technological and engineering wonder, conceived and built to astound the public at the 1889 Paris Exposition…it is a symbol of triumphant spirit, demonstrating how an innovative metal matrix can form a structure whose posture reinforces an aesthetic of glory.
S02 E05Sep 16, 1996
Domed Stadiums 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.