Known for its alluring machine covers, and tireless efforts to educate the public about scientific topics, Popular Science started its life as a text-only newsletter in 1872. Now the magazine is making its archives searchable and readable online for free.
What's interesting about browsing these early magazines are the advertisements as much as the articles. Popular Science captured the gadget-loving, craftsy crowd 100 years ago, and you can tell when you see ads for radios disguised as flour bins so that women working in the kitchen could still play with their fancy radio tech. But more than anything else, of course, the covers of old Popular Science magazines reveal everything about geek culture of yesteryear. Rockets, incredible machines, and tips about driving adorn nearly every cover.
The searchable Popular Science archive is made possible via a partnership between the magazine and Google Books, which scanned the magazines and hosts the files.