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The American Boy’s Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It

The American Boy’s Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It

NickTASC writes – “Perfect for all makers that enjoy reading on a lazy day. 441 pages of projects from 1882 aimed at young boys looking for out door fun. Way too many projects to list, but a few of the chapters cover: War Kites, Home-made fishing tackle, Stocking and keeping a marine aquarium, Underwater telescopes, Rigging and Sailing small boats, taxidermy, and the creation of snow forts. For $9.71 it’s definitely within any maker’s budget.”

Amazon & Duluth trading have it in stock…

Related: American Girls Handy Book.

Also, see our mention of the American Boy’s Handy Book in MAKE volume 01 Heirloom Technology, Finding the technology of the future from the forgotten ideas of the past by Tim Anderson – (subscriber access here).

12 thoughts on “The American Boy’s Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It

  1. BathroomNinja says:

    Oh man! I’ve had this book since I was about 12 (13 years ago) and have always loved it. I made the ‘mole trap’ and the stick homes. This book is a great maker book for everyone.

  2. wayn3w says:

    Project Gutenberg has some interesting books, too, like: Things to Make

  3. ingenious.dick says:

    Another great book in the same vein is Practical Projects for the Handy Man. It’s an amazing collection of Popular Mechanics projects published in 1913. Amazon claims that it’s out of print (but potentially available), and I encountered my first copy in a Cracker Barrel.

  4. taylorsmith says:

    I had this book when I was a kid also. It has lots of great projects. I should buy and extra to make sure I can give it to my kids also.

  5. vaguery says:

    The book should be in the public domain, if it was copyrighted before 1922. Any Makers out there who have a copy can contribute scans of the pages to Distributed Proofreaders and let the community produce a free, publicly-distributed online version (with fewer typos than regular OCR).

    And while you’re at it, go and proofread a few pages of 19th Century Scientific American at DP, as well.

    Me, I’m scanning and uploading the whole International Library of Technology series, including electrician, automotive repair, masonry and structural engineering texts from the 1900s….

  6. Eliot Lyons says:

    good catch on the last post, it IS public domain, as it was actually printed in 1882 initially, and finally, after spending several years looking for it complete online:,M

    thanks google books.
    though, in my heart, i kinda hoped that project gutenburg woulda picked it up first. this is an 1890 edition, “the new edition” and while there are a couple other editions up to 1912 green hardback (on ebay right now if you’re hot enough to click the buy it now) and more recent reprints with varying prefaces, this is the only complete copy i have found freely available online, it wont replace my 1982 edition’s browning and water damaged pages, with the broken spine and the pealing cover laminate, but thats nostalgia, that book has seen just as much adventure as i have. (be sure to take a look at the forth of july balloons and snowball wars, they are some of the best parts.)

    Best Regards

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