Your Grandfather’s MAKE Magazine

I recently came across a 4-volume set of the Popular Mechanics Illustrated Home Handyman Encyclopedia & Guide (from 1961) in the bargain bin at a local used book store. Of course, I grabbed them – for less than $5 total!

The ~4000 pages of projects are amazing – it’s basically your grandparents’ equivalent of today’s MAKE Magazine; with a lot of projects that wouldn’t be printed today due to liability concerns.

They’ve got everything from planning/building/remodeling a house, woodworking, metalworking, making your own boat/go-cart/children’s playground equipment, indoor shooting ranges, to radio repair, electronics, photography, gardening, farming, and equipment to make handling your farm animals easier.

Over the past four days I’ve taken pictures of the title pages and illustrations for the most interesting articles, and put them up on Flickr. I’ve also contacted Popular Mechanics to see about getting permission to break out the scanner and make proper PDFs of the best stuff.

The Flickr collections page, with one set for each volume, is here:

JANUARY 14th UPDATE: I’ve received permission from Popular Mechanics to make PDFs of the articles and put them online! That’s coming soon.

6 thoughts on “Your Grandfather’s MAKE Magazine

  1. My favorite book purchase ever was ten volumes of Chambers’s Encyclopaedia, published one by one from 1860 to 1868 (check out Wikipedia on this). It’s so much fun to look up science and technology items, articles on the national economies of the day, facts on cities of the time, and so much more. The volumes smell of woodsmoke and have been endlessly entertaining. They were bought for a quarter each at an AAUW sale; the chapter was cleanng out its library. For another quarter, we bought a huge anthology of the poetry of the 1860s. If we’d been able to spend just a little more, there were atlases for fifty cents apiece. You did a very good thing to buy what you did.

  2. Hello! I’m from Mexico
    Is a great idea that you can publushed the projects of popular mechanics, I’m watching all the photos and is amazing all this useful aideas, I want to thank you for this great aidea and continue with your personal project and I hope that soon we can see the PDF archives.

    I love the DIY projects and is greatful to find a pages in the net like yours

    have a nice day and continue with your personal project

  3. I have a set of Popular Mechanics Home Handyman Encyclopedia& Guide from 1962 volumes 1 through 12 that were my fathers. I need to move and cant haul any more than i possible. Let me know if you find anyone interested in such a wonderful set of awesome projects.

  4. I have one of those books! When I was a kid, I always wanted to make the car in it. But I never did.

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