Science is serious business, but sometimes new technology can look a bit silly before it's widely adopted (and especially if it's never adopted, like the PistoLaser or the Hoop Cycle.) In this archive gallery, we've rounded up nine men who, though incredibly solemn and impeccably dressed, just couldn't maintain dignity in the face of cutting-edge science.
This article originally appeared in the May 1941 issue of Popular Science. You can explore more of our archives--stretching back 140 years--here.
No one can accuse our colleagues from PopSci's past of not trying. They devoted a large section to tips (with illustrations!) to staying healthy, with assistance from science. Some of those tips, like warnings about diet pills, could be printed today and no one would bat an eye--but others, like chores being enough exercise for "a housewife," maybe not so much. Check out the gallery for them all.
The periodic table of elements, organized thoughtfully from hydrogen to ununoctium, is a tribute to the accomplishments of modern chemistry and physics. Since Dmitri Mendeleev developed an early version of the now-ubiquitous layout in 1869, discovering a new element has been a surefire way for a scientist to grab a place in the history books--and in the pages of Popular Science.
From the moment the devastating news reached New York, America has been utterly enthralled by the Titanic disaster. We savor mental images of the super rich clinging to debris, drowning because they grabbed jewels instead of a life vest, and we still can't help but wonder whether the iceberg was cosmic punishment for the arrogance of claiming an "unsinkable" ship. Even 100 years later, we want to know what else the wreck can teach us.