Popular Mechanics Illustrated Home Handyman Encyclopedia & Guide (1961)

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Bill writes –

I recently came across a 4-volume set of the Popular Mechanics Illustrated Home Handyman Encyclopedia & Guide (from 1961) in the bargain bin at a local used book store. Of course, I grabbed them.

The ~4000 pages of projects are amazing – it’s basically your grandparents’ equivalent of MAKE Magazine. Tons of the projects wouldn’t even be printed today due to liability concerns.

Everything from planning/building/remodeling a house, woodworking, metalworking, making your own boat/go-cart/children’s playground equipment, indoor shooting ranges, to gardening, farming, and equipment to make handling your animals easier.

Over the past four days I’ve taken pictures of the title pages and illustrations for the most interesting articles, and put them up on Flickr. I’ve also contacted Popular Mechanics to see about getting permission to break out the scanner and make proper PDFs of the best projects.

Popular Mechanics Illustrated Home Handyman Encyclopedia & Guide (1961) – Link.

There are over 300 images from the pages of the encyclopedias, great stuff.

636 thoughts on “Popular Mechanics Illustrated Home Handyman Encyclopedia & Guide (1961)

  1. You can find many similar series. I have some Popular Science, Mechanix Illustrated and Popular Mechanics dating back to the 50s. I’ve found them all at the Salvation Army or Goodwill stores.

    If you’re into this sort of thing, Lee Valley offers a great set of shop note reprints dating from 1905 – 1930. Highly recommended.

  2. You have found the first four volumes of a 16-volume set! GL on finding the rest, they’re all well worth perusal.

  3. Wow – in looking at the phot of the books themselves, you have a different edition of these than the ones I’m familar with – yours is four thick volumes; mine is sixteen much skinnier ones. Very interesting; a cool set of books indeed.

  4. Yes, these are the “Library Archival” versions; the sixteen-smaller-volumes set seems much more common than the four-big-volumes set that I took the pictures from.

  5. my parents have a set of the smaller ones, I think they picked them up at a junk store somewhere years ago. I remember reading them as a kid, flicking through book after book.
    Ah, the good old days

  6. Hi! i’m from Mexico and I think that will bw a great idea that you can share all this DIY projects with us, I hope that. And well congratulation for this.

  7. I have popular mechanics home handyman 1961 edition volume 1,2 3,4 and 9, are they worth anything.

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