“How It Works” Throughout History, In Pictures

Some of the greatest moments ever in figuring out how stuff works
Wikimedia Commons

Here at PopSci, there’s nothing we love more than figuring out how something works, be it the latest technology, or a scientific breakthrough. That moment of discovery – let’s call it a “how it works moment” – is almost as exciting for us buffs as it is for the researchers.

Here, we take a look back at some of history’s most fascinating “how it works moments” and the images that define them. It’s not always a cutaway or a teardown, but our desire to see how things work with our own eyes hasn’t changed over the years.

Click to launch a gallery of historical “how it works moments.”