Popular Science’s 137 years

The magazine Popular Science holds a remarkable piece of history spanning 137 years covering science progress and future predictions back till 1873.

To celebrate this years birthday they have partnered with google to bring you their complete back catalogue, something like 1500 individual magazines. Each has been scanned to digital and appears as it was published – original artworks, adverts and text. To easily find what you are intersted in the entire collection has been fully text search enabled.

It’s such a fascinating resource of information you could take months looking through, however as I’ve said it’s fairly easy to find something that interests you, so here’s a few of my favourites:

1. Popular Science Magazine, March, 1952. Einstein replies

Albert Einstein replies to a Popular Science magazine reader who is asking how his “Theory of Everything” is going, he starts his reply with an obviously angry out burst at the media – no doubt fed up of the media attention on himself:

“It is not my fault that the laymen obtain an exaggerated impression of the significance of my work. …this is due…to newspaper correspondents who present everything as sensationally as possible.”

Nothing changes, but if anything, it’s even worse now.

2. Popular Science Magazine, October, 1928. Nikola Tesla’s future.

Nikola Tesla is interviewed by Alden P. Armagnac and asked how he imagines the future:

“Within three years [my] “World System” for transmission of wireless power through the earth should be in commercial operation.”

We would be living in a very different world if Tesla had been allowed to have his way.

3. Poplar Science Magazine, March, 1965. Wernher van Braun’s Mars trip.

Wernher van Braun goes into detail on the possibility of getting a six man crew to Mars, following on from the future moon missions:

“…And the launch date for the first manned Mars expedition? Maybe 1986 wouldn’t be a bad year, from all angles.”

If only. And a strange coincidence, as 1986 was probably one of the worst years ever for Nasa.

A really great resource. Check out more here: http://www.popsci.com/announcements/article/2010-03/new-browse-137-years-popsci-archive-free

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