February 27, 2002
Popular Mechanics celebrates 100th anniversary
New York, New York – In a special collectors edition commemorating its 100th anniversary, Popular Mechanics magazine has published a double issue for March, 2002, with a message from President George W. Bush.
Bush, whose father, George H. W. Bush, wrote in the May, 1989 issue how we were not finished with the task of making this country great, writes in the March issue that Americans need to continue the courage and spirit that has brought us success for the last 100 years. Both Bush “41” and Bush “43” have now written for Popular Mechanics while they were sitting Presidents of the United States.
Perhaps the most intriguing section of the March Popular Mechanics, however, is the inclusion of the first 16-page issue of the magazine dated January 11, 1902. Initially published by founder Henry H. Windsor in Chicago as a weekly (subscription was $1.00 a year, ad rates were $2 a column-inch),
this first issue includes an interview with Guglielmo Marconi about wireless telegraphy (radio) 20 years before the first commercial radio station in the U.S.
“Even then, we were years ahead of the times, predicting technological progress and events,” commented Editor-in-Chief Joe Oldham.
Other interesting articles – also typically decades ahead of their time – include a guide inside the first British submarine, the advantages of learning foreign languages, the truth about quicksand, and A.L. Ricker’s “land speed record” of one mile in 63 seconds in an electric car. The issue is
complete, including all the display and classified ads.
The tear-out poster, “Popular Mechanics – The Way the World Works For 100 Years,” is free with the issue, and contains 100 sample covers of the magazine from the first issue in 1902 right up until the post-September 11th special on Homeland Security.
As she has done throughout the Popular Mechanics 100th anniversary, magazine historian Mary Seelhorst has a feature article in the issue called “Zero to 100,” which documents the history of Popular Mechanics from Henry Windsor’s first issue “written so you can understand it,” to the “PM.Zone” website and the Popular Mechanics books and CDs.
And all of this is just a section of the regular monthly issue, which features an Microsoft Xbox versus Nintendo Gamecube comparison, military “battle blimps,” a comparison test of lawn tractors, and a full automotive section including the Editor’s Choice Awards from the most recent SEMA
aftermarket show in Las Vegas.
Also included is a description of the Popular Mechanics Centennial RV Tour, for which a specially outfitted and graphically “wrapped” Coachmen Cross Country RV is traveling on a 48-state, 25,000 mile Celebration Tour, all honouring the magazine first published in 1902.
Popular Mechanics editors will be on board to say “thank you” to a nation full of dedicated readers. There will also be special editions of the magazine, plus gifts and exhibits from Popular Mechanics and the tour’s sponsors — Coachmen, Circuit City, RCA, SanDisk and Hewlett-Packard. The PM.Zone at www.popularmechanics.com has the schedule of where the RV will be appearing around the country.
And early next month, The Best of Popular Mechanics 1902-2002, a book-length collection of the complete articles by these and other celebrity authors, will be published as part of the centennial celebration.
Popular Mechanics, published by The Hearst Corporation, reaches more than nine million readers a month in more than 12 countries. Even more information and illustrations on the wide variety of subjects covered can be found in the “PM.Zone” at www.popularmechanics.com.