Future Then

Some of our favorite covers from the last century

October 1920

This is not a miniature Ferris wheel -- it's a perpetual motion machine!

April 1938

An early commuter flight to the Moon.

October 1942

The World War II era of Popular Science was as brave and optimistic as you would expect.

July 1953

Achtung! Popular Science cannot guarantee the efficacy or safety of homemade underwater breathing apparatus.

December 1961

But does it fly?

January 1973

10 shots in 20 seconds!

November 1983

Flat screens!

March 1991

Robot insects, attack!

January 2001

Ah, 2001; such naive times.

May 1966

Have a swell time in your sun dome!

February 1941

Can air defense save us? Another issue from the war years.

March 1948

This sort of situation was much more common 60 years ago.

April 1919

Your handy guide to melting steel underwater.

November 1931

This issue was pulled from shelves after it inspired a rash of supervillain plots to destroy the world.

December 1924

Hit the speedway in your amazing new motor hoop!

March 1954

We're still waiting for this subway.

May 1932

Yup, another motorized hoop. This one keeps the rain off, at least, unless it's coming down at an angle.

August 1930

Poor fellow.

April 1970

Ralph Nader on gasoline.

July 1955

An expert tells you how to enjoy skin diving. You're on your own figuring out how to ride a shark, though.

October 1947

Whyever would you wish to tame them?

July 1921

Maybe the guy's pained expression is a clue to why this tech never took off.

September 1966

We've long been fans of VTOL aircraft, but it's the John Steinbeck story that gives this issue its kicker.

November 1979

Aerodynamics; as key as ever.

August 1922

And what better way to cool down than a nice, long, water toboggan ride?