I think it was in one of the WWI-era Boy Mechanic books that I found a DIY project opening with the direction to “pick up a few sticks of dynamite at the hardware store.” I can think of a lot of projects I would like to undertake—and many more that I would like to write—that would start out in the same way, today.
Sadly, the world has moved on past the age of ubiquitous over-the-counter high explosives. But you can relive some of the magic that once was with this lovely scanned copy of DuPont’s 1910 sales pamphlet Farming With Dynamite, hosted at Autodesk founder John Walker’s site. Highlights from its dozen pages include the use of dynamite for stump clearance, cellar excavation, and plowing. I was disappointed to see, however, that veterinary, educational, and medical applications were apparently left for a subsequent volume. [via Boing Boing]