If you’re like me, you’re about 100 years behind the curve on understanding technology. Sure, you can make all the latest electronic doo-dads beep and hum and chug, but when you have to actually explain their functioning, you start sounding superstitious. “I touch the magic spot twice, and the machine knows what I want somehow, if I am a good boy.”
Well, it’s Popular Mechanics to the rescue! No, not the latest issues, but the ones from a hundred years ago. Google Books has scanned them and made them available online. Endless fun awaits you at this wonderful archive. Hear the tone of breathless excitement over the cutting-edge popular science of the last century, as it combines truly helpful information (how a hydraulic dam works), politically incorrect terminology, quaintly outdated gadgets, and geeky diagrams with their own strange beauty.
In fifteen minutes’ browsing I found these wonders:
A Perfectly Bristly Diagram of All the Parts of a Buggy:
Helpful Instructions on How to Telephone: “Said an expert: ‘If I were to lay down a rule for telephoning, I should say, keep the chin well up and speak with a large amount of air in the chest, articulate slowly and distinctly and use the lips; that is, throw the voice in the front part of the mouth –and be courteous.”
And two ingenious labor-saving devices that allow you to execute yourself
Many other (non-death-related) items await you there!