- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 50 minutes
- Video: Black & White / Color
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: September 27, 2005
- Originally Released: 2005
- Label: A&E Home Video
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
Whether attributable to accidents or the foibles of the ego, engineering mistakes have caused some of the greatest disasters in human history. Modern Marvels takes a look at the poor planning, strategical errors, arrogance, and negligence that have populated humankind's endeavors with its massive failures. The U.S.S. Thresher, a submarine that failed to resurface from a 1963 test run, was just such a tragedy, killing all 129 people aboard. Also covered is the 1928 catastrophe in California, which saw the collapse of the St. Francis dam and the subsequent deaths of many residents of the San Francisquito Valley, all due to an ignorance of local geology. The Vanguard Rocket launch, the sinking of the Andrea Doria, and other disasters are addressed by a panel of experts and historians, who provide fascinating commentary to the footage, which includes extensive maps, diagrams, and location shooting.
Description by A&E Home Video:
Some are the result of unforeseeable factors, natural disasters or acts of God. But far more are caused by man, either through poor planning, negligence or innovative strategies that do not work.
MODERN MARVELSTM pores through the rubble of some of the most notable disasters looking for clues as to what happened. Often, the stories point to one tiny mistake that, unchecked, snowballed into a force that could not be stopped. Experts reveal how easy it is for this to happen, particularly when all the engineering computations involved in a new structure were done without the aid of a computer. But then we'll see how other incidents were caused by arrogance, ego and plain incompetence. Dramatic footage and photos capture many of these ENGINEERING DISASTERS as they happened (or immediately after), and engineers detail the changes that these accidents have spurred.
Join us for a fascinating look at the failures that male up a vital--if somewhat embarrassing--chapter in the history of engineering.