Gadget nerds: Prepare to lose the rest of your day to awesomeness. PopSci, the web-wing of Popular Science magazine, has scanned its entire 137-year archive and put it online for you to read, absolutely free. The archive, made available in partnership with Google Books, even has the original period advertisements.
Head over to the site and you’ll see a simple search box. Of course, the first thing I typed in was “jet pack”. This, naturally enough, returned plenty of results, including a rather dangerous-looking hydrogen peroxide–powered contraption with a belt-mounted controller. The article was printed in the December 1962 issue.
You can’t go directly to an issue to browse, but once you have arrived somewhere by search, there are no restrictions on scrolling around. You’ll also find a properly hyperlinked table of contents in each magazine. The early years are a little dry: I browsed an issue from 1902, and it made the average math textbook look like a Dan Brown novel (only better paced), so I’d recommend starting in the optimistic, tech-loving 1950s.
Oh, and did I mention it works great on an iPhone? Good luck getting any work done today.
Search the PopSci archives. http://www.popsci.com/archives
We’ve partnered with Google to offer our entire 140-year archive for free browsing. Each issue appears just as it did at its original time of publication, complete with period advertisements. It’s an amazing resource that beautifully encapsulates our ongoing fascination with the future, and science and technology’s incredible potential to improve our lives. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Enter any keyword into the box below and dive in.
Search the PopSci archives:
As an alternative approach, you can use this amazing tool to plot how often any given word appeared in PopSci throughout the years: see the rise of “robots,” the decline of “aeroplanes,” and the “wartime” booms.