F I N K B U I L T

Scale model cockpit FPV

fpv
cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.

Liberty

liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

null
Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box

Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

drano
Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste




Popular Science – June 1953

popular science
Seattle’s Old Technology Shop on Aurora Avenue closed it doors earlier this year, after more than 30 years of supplying seattle crap-hounds with 8-track tape players, 16mm movie projectors, antique medical and scientific test equipment, knobs, tubes, vintage semiconductors, and all manner of technological debris.

I used to shop there occasionally, but more often than not I would just go in to salivate at the rich bounty of junk inside. Once as I was leaving the store, a guy came in lugging a big box of old magazines, hoping to sell them to the proprietor. The owner wasn’t interested, but when the guy saw my eyes bulging out of my head at the contents of the box, he asked me If I wanted them, and gave me the whole lot. I harvested nearly 60 copies of Popular Science, and Mechanics Illustrated from 1947-1959. I’m going to start posting the better covers, and select content.

This is sort of a tie-in with the publishing of my first article for O’Reilly’s Make magazine which shares not only the digest-sized format, but also the tinkerer, hacker, builder spirit of these old gems.

First up June, 1953. This outstanding cover features a woman admiring ‘The Fanciest Car you can buy” and a very nice illustration of some retro-futuristic, Michelin Tire man-looking astronauts doing a space-walk. Smack-dab in the middle is a bright orange burst touting the included science-fiction book digest, which was Arthur C. Clarke’s Island In The sky.

14 Responses to “Popular Science – June 1953”


  1. kaufman Says:

    Man, you always find the best stuff. I love how the astronaut has no legs – looks like he’s stuck in some type of space nipple or something.

    Congrats on getting the O’Reilly gig – I’ll be looking forward to reading your article!

  2. Robyn Says:

    My Grandpop saved every Popular Science and Popular Mechanics he every got. Ever! Boxes and Boxes of them. We just went back to Philly and I could barely move around parts of my Grandmom’s basement because it was full of those old magazines. And they were stuffed everywhere. Her basement bathroom is like a time-machine… pick up a magazine and suddenly you’re back in the 1960s (or 50s), reading about flying cars, or travel to space.

    It finally became too much. My uncle (who loves those old magazines) went down, packed them all up, and tossed ‘em all. Years worth. I guess too much of a good thing can be just plain overwhelming.

  3. Chip Says:

    I used to byy old Popular Mechanics & Sciences from the 50′s/60′s/70′s at flea markets back in the early 80′s.. I loved them, could spend an entire afternoon going through those, after that it was hard to disengage my brain and step back into the 80′s…

    Best memory was stumbling over a letter to the shell answer man or something like that in one of them from the 70′s that I found was one my dad had written to…

    Good times…………..

  4. Jimm Says:

    Great stuff! My hometown library used to have a moldy room in the back where they kept old periodicals. I would sneak back there and read the old Popular Science/Mechanics mags instead of researching Gengis Khan for my history report, etc. I think their vision of life in the future (everyone vacationing in space, helpful robot servants, etc.) was part of what got me interested in aerospace and research. I look forward to future installments, if for no other reason than to capture those optimistic times that they were forecasting back then.

  5. vladimer kerchenko Says:

    “Then all of a suddens, I smells my steaks bouirning!”

    Nice troll, Pat. ;)
  6. vladimer kerchenko Says:

    forgive lack of jargon knowledge… whats a troll??

    Actually, I’m glad that you don’t know what it means, because I used it incorrectly.

    Troll

    I was trying to accuse you of leaving a SPAM comment, who’s main purpose was to get your link clicked.

  7. vladimer kerchenko Says:

    i looked up troll and it does have some trollish chracteristics…. but actually i was just trying to be funny… to amuse myself, which I did…….

    “Jimmy I’m out here in the back yard… olympic size, olympic size…. gimme the best pool you got, i don’t care what it costs… nthats the trouble with people like you Jimmy… your afraid to own, your afraid to buy, yoyur afraid to live. You know what Jimmy, you should buy your self a 750i, whats that? you say you can’t afford it? don’t give me that crap, what are you making now, 25k a year 35 k a year? You can afford it, take out a loan.”

  8. Steve Says:

    test

  9. Ronnie Says:

    I have Popular Science that go back to 1953 in mint condition. I would like to know what they are worth.
    Thank you

  10. Jeanne Says:

    We have over 100 Popular Science and Popular Mechanic… from early 50′s to 65′s…. just wondering if they hold any value… or should we burn them in our fire tonight????

    seriously,

    Jeanne & Dale

  11. Doug Says:

    I was pleased to see others writing about the old magazines.
    I started collecting over 20 years ago.

    I have nealy 1000 copies ranging in dates from 1938 to 1970′s
    of POP_Mech, Mech_Illust, Pop_Scie., Scie_&_Mech.

    If anyone is interested drop me a line, nothing is in order right now but I plan on re-organizing in 2006.

  12. JJ Duvenhage Says:

    I saw a scratch build plan for a model car in a early 1950′s magezine. I would love to get a copy of this.
    If any one kan help with this.
    thanks

  13. Mary Grinie Says:

    We have a few issues of Pop_scie.,Mech_Illust.,Scie_&_Mech. Ranging in dates from 1953-1960′s. We would like to know what they are worth??? Thank You, Henry & Mary

  14. ron huntzberry Says:

    Looking for june 1952 Popular Mechanics and March 1952 Popular Science