Old tech manuals

Craft & Design
Old tech manuals

[Pictured above, top to bottom: 1946 The Fleet Type Submarine manual, manual for the 1988 SR-71 Blackbird Environmental Control Systems, 1942 B-17F Flying Fortress Pilot Familiarization Manual]

We’re hard at work on the next issue of MAKE, Volume 17, which will have a special “Lost Knowledge” section. For that, I’ve been on the hunt for interesting lost and out-of-favor technologies and techno-artifacts. In this search, I stumbled on this Wired photo essay (also in the latest print issue) of “Classic Instruction Manuals.” I also discovered that someone has started an online Product Manual Archive. Let’s hope he keeps it up. There are only a handful of entries to date.

A Photo Essay of Classic Instruction Manuals
The Product Manual Archive

2 thoughts on “Old tech manuals

  1. Garrett says:

    Hi. I’m the owner of http://www.productmanualarchive.org. I’m looking forward to your latest Make issue.

    I’d like to invite others to send scanned images for the site to display. I will give full credit to the scanner operator, or owner, or emailer, or whatever seems to fit.

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).