Yesterday's future, today!

Old magazines are always a treat to peruse. They provide a glimpse of life as it was once lived that’s not always easy to find elsewhere.

I’m especially drawn to the advertising one discovers in these yellowed periodicals, and targeted niche publications like Popular Mechanics can yield especially rare delights.

The good folks at Popular Science seem to have a handle on the appeal and value of yesterday’s news. They’ve made their entire archive — 137 years’ worth — available for free on their website.

Every issue, including the delightful and evocative covers, can be viewed there.

image-Popular Science covers

Who could resist stories such as these (all taken from the March 1933 issue):

  • Grasshopper Plane Jumps into the Air
  • New Safety Razor Has Oscillating Blade
  • Brake Stops Fast Train in 100 Feet
  • Odd Design in New Streamline Car
  • Shattered Men Rebuilt by Master Surgeons
  • New Pleasure Car Is Also a Light Truck

And then, of course, there are the advertisements, all of which are included in the archive as well.

image-ads from Popular Science

My hat’s off to the publishers of Popular Science; they have exactly the right idea in making this material freely available online. Here’s hoping all other publications of long-standing follow their lead.