Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics (sometimes PM or PopMech) is a magazine of popular science and technology, featuring automotive, home, outdoor, electronics, science, do-it-yourself, and technology topics. Military topics, aviation and transportation of all types, space, tools and gadgets are commonly featured.[3]

It was founded in 1902 by Henry Haven Windsor, who was the editor and—as owner of the Popular Mechanics Company—the publisher. For decades, the tagline of the monthly magazine was "Written so you can understand it." In 1958, PM was purchased by the Hearst Corporation, now Hearst Communications.[4]

In 2013, the US edition changed from twelve to ten issues per year, and in 2014 the tagline was changed to "How your world works."[5] The magazine added a podcast in recent years, including regular features Most Useful Podcast Ever and How Your World Works.[6]

Popular Mechanics
Popular Mechanics logo
Popular Mechanics Cover Vol 1 Issue 1 11 January 1902
Popular Mechanics first cover (January 11, 1902)
Editor-In-ChiefRyan D’Agostino[1]
CategoriesAutomotive, DIY, Science, Technology
PublisherCameron Connors
Total circulation
First issueJanuary 11, 1902
CompanyHearst Communications
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City, New York


Popular Mechanics was founded in Chicago by Henry Haven Windsor, with the first issue dated January 11, 1902. His concept was that it would explain "the way the world works" in plain language, with photos and illustrations to aid comprehension.[4] For decades, its tagline was "Written so you can understand it."[7] The magazine was a weekly until September 1902, when it became a monthly. The Popular Mechanics Company was owned by the Windsor family and printed in Chicago until the Hearst Corporation purchased the magazine in 1958. In 1962, the editorial offices moved to New York City.[8]

From the first issue, the magazine featured a large illustration of a technological subject, a look that evolved into the magazine's characteristic full-page, full-color illustration and a small 6.5" x 9.5" trim size beginning with the July, 1911 issue. It maintained the small format until 1975 when it switched the larger standard trim size. Popular Science adopted full-color cover illustrations in 1915, and the look was widely imitated by later technology magazines.[9]

Several international editions were introduced after World War II, starting with a French edition, followed by Spanish in 1947, and Swedish and Danish in 1949. In 2002, the print magazine was being published in English, Chinese, and Spanish and distributed worldwide.[10] South African[11] and Russian editions were introduced that same year.

Notable articles have been contributed by notable people including Guglielmo Marconi, Thomas Edison, Jules Verne, Barney Oldfield, Knute Rockne, Winston Churchill, Charles Kettering, Tom Wolfe, and Buzz Aldrin, as well as many presidents including Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Comedian and car expert Jay Leno had a regular column, Jay Leno's Garage, starting in March, 1999.[12]


Name Dates
Henry Haven Windsor Jan 1902 - Jun 1924
Henry Haven Windsor Jr Jul 1924 - Dec 1958
Roderick Grant Jan 1959 - Dec 1960
Clifford Hicks Jan 1961 - Sep 1962
Don Dinwiddie Oct 1962 - Sep 1965
Robert Crosley Jul 1966 - Dec 1971
Jim Liston Jan 1972 - Dec 1974
John Linkletter Jan 1975 - Jun 1985
Joe Oldham[14] Aug 1985 - Sep 2004
Jim Meigs[15] Oct 2004 - April 2014
Ryan D'Agostino May 2014 -

*Note that in general, dates are the inclusive issues for which an editor was responsible. For decades, the lead time to go from submission to print was three months, so some of the dates might not correspond exactly with employment dates. As the Popular Mechanics web site has become more dominant and the importance of print issues has declined, editorial changes have more immediate impact.


  • 1986 National Magazine Award in the Leisure Interest category for the Popular Mechanics Woodworking Guide, November 1986.[16]
  • 2008 National Magazine Award in the Personal Service category for its "Know Your Footprint: Energy, Water and Waste" series.
  • The magazine has received eight National Magazine Award nominations, including 2012 nominations in the Magazine of the Year category and the General Excellence category.[17]


  1. ^ Alexandra Steigrad (2014-04-23). "Ryan D'Agostino Tapped to Helm Popular Mechanics". WWD. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  2. ^ "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Audit Bureau of Circulations. December 31, 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  3. ^ "Popular Mechanics".
  4. ^ a b Seelhorst, Mary (1992). Wright, John, ed. Ninety Years of Popular Mechanics. Possible Dreams: Enthusiasm for Technology in America. St. Paul, Minn: Seawell. p. 62.
  5. ^ "The 60-second interview: Ryan D'Agostino, editor-in-chief, Popular Mechanics". Politico.com. Oct 20, 2014. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  6. ^ "Popular Mechanics podcasts".
  7. ^ Whittaker, Wayne (January 1952). "The Story of Popular Mechanics". Popular Mechanics. pp. 127–132, 366–380.
  8. ^ Seelhorst, Mary (October 2002). "In the Driver's Seat". Popular Mechanics: 96.
  9. ^ Seelhorst, Mary (May 2002). "The Art of the Cover: The most memorable covers from the past 100 years and the stories behind them". Popular Mechanics: 94.
  10. ^ Seelhorst, Mary (March 2002). "Zero to 100". Popular Mechanics: 117.
  11. ^ "Popular Mechanics". RamsayMedia.co.za. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  12. ^ Seelhorst, Mary, ed. (2002). The Best of Popular Mechanics, 1902-2002. New York: Hearst Communications. p. 1. ISBN 1-58816-112-9.
  13. ^ Seelhorst, Mary (October 2002). "In the Driver's Seat". Popular Mechanics: 95–97.
  14. ^ Oldham, Joe (September 2004). "Editor's Notes". Popular Mechanics: 8.
  15. ^ "Ryan D'Agostino Named Editor-in-Chief of Popular Mechanics". April 22, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  16. ^ "National Magazine Awards". Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "Popular Mechanics News and Updates". Hearst Communications. Retrieved December 31, 2018.

Further reading

External links

  1. ^ "Google and Popular Mechanics". Popular Mechanics. December 10, 2008. Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  2. ^ Ross, James (August 15, 2005). "Google Library Project". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
  3. ^ "Tom Burns (2015)".
  4. ^ Orf, Darren (2013). ""Written So You Can Understand It": The process and people behind creating an issue of Popular Mechanics".
  5. ^ Darren Orf. "Analysis" (PDF). MO Space. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
Benjamin Chertoff

Benjamin Chertoff is a journalist, photographer and video producer. He is most known for his work on the Popular Mechanics article 9/11: Debunking The Myths. He also created the Popular Mechanics Show, the weekly podcast of Popular Mechanics magazine. He is currently a freelance photojournalist, writer and documentary producer.

Buggy (automobile)

Buggy is generally used to refer to any lightweight automobile with off road capabilities and sparse bodywork. Most are built either as a kit car or from scratch.

Curtiss Tanager

The Curtiss Model 54 Tanager was an aircraft constructed in 1929 as Curtiss' entry in the Guggenheim Safe Aircraft Competition.

Debunking 9/11 Myths

Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts is a non-fiction book published by Hearst Communications, Inc. on August 15, 2006. The book is based on the article "9/11: Debunking the Myths" in the March 2005 issue of Popular Mechanics and is written by David Dunbar and Brad Reagan, responding to various 9/11 conspiracy theories. The authors interviewed over 300 sources for the book, relying on expert and witness accounts.

Douglas XB-19

The Douglas XB-19 was the largest bomber aircraft built for the United States Army Air Forces until 1946. It was originally given the designation XBLR-2 (XBLR denoting "Experimental Bomber Long Range").

Garfield Wood

Garfield Arthur "Gar" Wood (December 4, 1880 – June 19, 1971) was an American inventor, entrepreneur, and championship motorboat builder and racer who held the world water speed record on several occasions. He was the first man to travel over 100 miles per hour on water.

High Five Interchange

The High Five Interchange is one of the first five-level stack interchanges built in Dallas, Texas. Located at the junction of the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway (Interstate 635, I-635) and the Central Expressway (US Highway 75, US 75), it replaces an antiquated partial cloverleaf interchange constructed in the 1960s.

The $261 million project was started in 2002 and completed in December 2005. It was designed by the HNTB Corporation and built by Zachry Construction Corporation.

The interchange is considered by Popular Mechanics to be one of "The World's 18 Strangest Roadways" because of its height (as high as a 12-story building), its 43 permanent bridges and other unusual design and construction features.

In 2006, the American Public Works Association named the High Five Interchange as "Public Works Projects of the Year".

Hudson Hornet

The Hudson Hornet is a full-sized automobile which was produced by the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, between 1951 and 1954 and then by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and marketed under the Hudson brand between 1955 and 1957.

The first-generation Hudson Hornets featured a functional "step-down" design with dropped floorpan and a chassis with a lower center of gravity than contemporary vehicles that helped the car handle well – a bonus for racing. The Hornet's lower and sleeker look was accentuated by streamlined styling, sometimes called "ponton" styling. Hornet owner Spencer Blake, writing for Popular Mechanics in 1999, notes that "the car's unique, low slung appearance and silky handling earned Hudson an image that – for many buyers – eclipsed luxury marques like Cadillac."The second-generation Hudson Hornet was a restyled Nash that was badge engineered as a Hudson.

Julian May

Julian Clare May (July 10, 1931 – October 17, 2017) was an American science fiction, fantasy, horror, science and children's writer who also used several literary pseudonyms. She was best known for her Saga of Pliocene Exile (Saga of the Exiles in the United Kingdom) and Galactic Milieu Series books.

Junkers G.38

The Junkers G.38 was a large German four-engined transport aircraft which first flew in 1929. Two examples were constructed in Germany. Both aircraft flew as a commercial transport within Europe in the years leading up to World War II.

During the 1930s, the design was licensed to Mitsubishi, which constructed and flew a total of six aircraft, in a military bomber/transport configuration, designated Ki-20.The G.38 carried a crew of seven. Onboard mechanics were able to service the engines in flight due to the G.38's blended wing design, which provided access to all four power plants.


Larami Corp. was founded in 1947 and was a toy company whose products usually ranged from the cost of $0.39 to $0.99. Larami Corp. was eventually acquired by Hasbro Inc., becoming Larami Inc. in 1995. The Larami company name was finally retired in 2002.

List of aircraft

This list of aircraft is sorted alphabetically, beginning with the name of the manufacturer (or, in certain cases, designer). It is an inclusive list rather than an exclusive one, meaning that where an aircraft is known under multiple names, designations, or manufacturers, each of these is listed. Note also that this list should not be considered complete and it is constantly being updated with more aircraft types.

This list does not generally include variants or subtypes of the aircraft themselves (although there is considerable difference among various manufacturers and designation systems as to what constitutes a new aircraft as opposed to a variant of an existing type).

List of films featuring powered exoskeletons

There is a body of feature films, mainly live-action, featuring powered exoskeletons. Popular Mechanics said the growth of visual effects at the start of the 21st century allowed for such exoskeletons to be featured more prominently in live-action films. LiveScience said in 2013 that it was fairly common to see powered exoskeletons in films and that it helped educate the public about potential real-life use.

McCall Corporation

McCall Corporation was an American publishing company that produced some popular magazines. These included Redbook for women, Bluebook for men, McCall's, the Saturday Review, and Popular Mechanics. It also published Better Living, a magazine that was distributed solely through grocery stores.

Pop Mechanix

Pop Mechanix was a New Zealand pop music band that played in New Zealand and Australia from 1979 to 1988. Their hit single, "Jumping out a Window", reached number 87 of the all-time top 100 singles for APRA NZ, and number 12 in the all-time top 50 singles for The PressPop Mechanix was involved in a precedent-setting lawsuit. An Australian band, Popular Mechanics, sued WEA, the Pop Mechanix record label, over the use of their name in the Australia. Popular Mechanics won the case, forcing Pop Mechanix to change their name, first to NZ Pop, and then to Zoo. The band eventually returned to New Zealand, where they continued to work as Pop Mechanix.

Popular Mechanics for Kids

Popular Mechanics for Kids (sometimes abbreviated to PMK) is an educational Canadian television series based on Popular Mechanics magazine. It was notable for starting the careers of Elisha Cuthbert, Jay Baruchel and Tyler Kyte. The show's intent is to teach viewers how things work. It was awarded the Parents Choice Award in 2003, and was nominated for the Gemini Awards.

The series aired on Global TV from 1997 to 2001, and re-runs of the show continued to air on many channels until 2008. It piloted on BBC Kids and Discovery Kids until December 31, 2009. After the closure of Discovery Kids Canada, BBC Kids stopped airing reruns in all countries except Canada. The reruns on BBC Kids in Canada ended on May 14, 2011. As of 2013 re-runs of the show continue to air on Knowledge Network. Along with Cuthbert and Baruchel, the cast included Charles Powell, nicknamed "Charlie" for the series, Tyler Kyte (who joined the show with Jay in the second series), and eventually Vanessa Lengies.

The show was filmed primarily in Montreal, Quebec, and is currently distributed on VHS / DVD by Koch Vision.

The show was produced by Global TV Network and Shaw Media in Canada, Hearst Entertainment in USA and finally "TVA International" in Canada for the last episodes in 2001.

Renault Alliance

The Renault Alliance is a front-wheel drive, front-engine subcompact automobile manufactured and marketed in North America by American Motors Corporation (AMC) for model years 1983–1987. The Alliance and its subsequent hatchback variant, the Encore, were re-engineered Renault 9 & 11 for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Initially available in two- and four-door sedan configurations, three- and five-door hatchback variants (marketed as the Renault Encore) became available in 1984, and a convertible in 1985. AMC also marketed a sports version called Renault GTA for 1987. A total of 623,573 vehicles were manufactured in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Production was discontinued after Chrysler's acquisition of AMC in 1987.

The Alliance and Encore derived from AMC's 1979 partnership with Renault, which held controlling stake in AMC. The cars featured exterior styling by Robert Opron, director of Renault Styling, and interior design by AMC's Richard Teague, with both the Alliance two-door sedan and the convertible body styles uniquely developed by AMC.

Trans-en-Provence Case

The Trans-en-Provence Case was an event where an unidentified flying object is claimed to have left physical evidence, in the form of burnt residue on a field. The event took place on January 8, 1981, outside the town of Trans-en-Provence in the French departement of Var. It was described in Popular Mechanics as "perhaps the most completely and carefully documented sighting of all time".


Zorbeez is a chamois cloth which is claimed by manufacturer Vertical Branding to be capable of absorbing over 20 fluid oz (600 mL) of liquid.

However, it has often been tested with mixed results. In March 2009, Popular Mechanics tested Zorbeez against competitor ShamWow, and Zorbeez was found to be inferior. Mainly marketed on television, Zorbeez was represented by TV personality Billy Mays. WFLX's Deal or Dud segment tested the Zorbeez, and they called it a "Deal".

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