Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics
Popular Mechanics logo.svg
Popular Mechanics Cover Vol 1 Issue 1 11 January 1902.jpg
Popular Mechanics first cover (January 11, 1902)
Editor-In-ChiefRyan D’Agostino[1]
CategoriesAutomotive, DIY, Science, Technology
FrequencyMonthly
PublisherCameron Connors
Total circulation
(2017)
1,208,642[2]
First issueJanuary 11, 1902; 117 years ago (1902-01-11)
Companypopularmechanics.com
0032-4558

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]

History

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 Buz 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]