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Series / Modern Marvels

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Showing you buildings, bridges, vehicles, and most notably, everyday items, Modern Marvels is a non-fiction TV documentary series on The History Channel. Unlike many other documentaries that are mainly about history, Modern Marvels doesn't spend all of the episode time on history, but also covers the specifics of what exactly it is/they are, how it is/they are made (which includes history for structures), and how it is/they are used.

Modern Marvels first aired on January 1, 1995, and after 20 years on air, the show finally ended on April 11, 2015.

Other former History Series have been made into Modern Marvels episodes, like Tales of the Gun.

There is a series within Modern Marvels called Engineering Disasters, which focuses on things that obviously didn't work. So far there have been twenty-two of these episodes.


In 2021, History began airing a retooled version starring Adam Richmond of Man v. Food as host and narrator.

History has been uploading entire episodes of Modern Marvels on YouTube. You can watch them over here.

Modern Marvels provides examples of:

  • A Good, Old-Fashioned Paint Watching: During the episode on paint, one man who tests paints for a paint company is required by his job to watch paint dry. He finds it interesting.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Far too many to count, via the show's Engineering Disasters episodes.
  • Narrator: The show's format requires one. Lloyd Sherr (see Stage Names below), is the most common one by far.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: A meta example, as it is frequently experienced by viewers of the show. Who knew an hour devoted to "wood" or "doors" could be so interesting?
  • Non-Indicative Name: It doesn't always focus on "modern" technologies. One episode focused on the technology behind mummy-making, which is just about as far from "modern" as is humanly possible within the bounds of recorded history. See also the episode on knives, which (in their flint incarnation) are probably one of mankind's earliest inventions. A large portion of that episode dealt with swords.
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  • Stage Names: The main narrator, Lloyd Sherr, is listed in the credits as Max Raphael.
  • Technology Porn: Pretty much the reason for this show.