Since the beginning of time, mankind has always been curious about how things work. Whether it's the wheel, the telephone, or the fantasy of flight, inventors throughout history have poured countless hours into making their creations viable for the advancement of our society.

The term "mechanics" refers to the working parts or the machinery of something. In nearly every aspect of our modern world, we are surrounded by machines with moving parts. With the innovation of printed media, curious minds were yearning for a publication that explored the mysteries and wonders of the moving parts around them. One particular publication, Popular Mechanics, provides their readers with insight into these scientific topics. Come along on this journey as we dive deep into the "mechanics" of Popular Mechanics.

Popular Mechanics Overview

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In the first portion of our journey, we will be looking at the history of Popular Mechanics, as well as specific information about the publication itself. By the time we are through, we will have all the information we need to know about the world-famous science publication known as Popular Mechanics. Let's get started.

history and location

first issue

Popular Mechanics published its first issue on January 11, 1902. A Chicago author named Henry Haven Windsor founded the publication, and was the original author, editor, and publisher.  Haven eventually succeeded the editorial duties to his son, Henry Haven Windsor Jr. Windsor also went on to publish Cartoons Magazine from 1912 to 1922.

Windsor self-published Popular Mechanics under the Popular Mechanics Company for 56 years. In 1958, the publication became a subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation. The Hearst Corporation is a media conglomerate founded in San Francisco in 1887 by politician, businessman, and philanthropist William Randolph Hearst. The corporation later moved operations to its current home of Manhattan in New York City.

mission statement

issue of the magazine

"Popular Mechanics is the original how-to guide for a life well lived. Drawing on 115 years of knowledge, Popular Mechanics shares a voracious curiosity about technological breakthroughs, automobiles, inventions, do-it-yourself projects, and outdoor adventure with our community of loyal readers, fans, and followers."

"From today's makers and adventure-seekers to tomorrow's inventors and change-agents, Popular Mechanics inspires 15 million active enthusiasts to learn, make, discover, and do something new every day."

popular mechanics publication specs

Listed below are the mechanical specifications of the publication:

  • Final Trim Size: 7-3/4" W X 10-1/2" D
  • Bleed: 1/8"
  • Binding: Perfect Bound
  • Jog Position: Foot








2 Page Spread

15” x 10”

15-3/4” x 10-3/4”

15-1/2” x 10-1/2”

Full Page

157-3/4” x 10”” x 10”

8” x 10-3/4”

7-3/4” x 10-1/2”

2/3 Page Vertical

4-1/2” x 10”

5-1/4” x 10-3/4”

5” x 10-1/2”

1/2 Page Horizontal Spread

15” x 4-5/8”

15-3/4” x 5-3/8”

15-1/2” x 5-1/8”

1/2  Page Horizontal

7-1/4” x 4-5/8”

8” x 5-3/8”

7-3/4” x 5-1/8”

1/2  Page Vertical

3-1/3” x 10”

4” x 10-3/4”

3-3/4” x 10-1/2”

1/2  Page Digest

4-1/2” x 7”

5-3/4” x 7-3/4”

5” x 7-1/2”

1/3 Page Vertical

2” x 10”

2-3/4” x 10-3/4”

2-1/2” x 10-1/2”

1/3 Page Square

4-1/2” x 4-5/8”

5-1/4” x 5-3/8”

5” x 5-1/8”


Popular Mechanics covers the science of mechanics by delving into how the machines around us work. Some of the most covered topics include home and DYI, automobiles, airplanes, space, military and sci-fi. Let's explore each category a little more in-depth.


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Have you ever wanted to fix that pesky household item, but don't want to spend a fortune on hiring somebody to repair it? Popular Mechanics has that covered. They offer articles on various methods of making our homes a more enjoyable place. Let's look at an example that's more than appropriate for the Holiday Season.

We've all had the family gathering known as Thanksgiving. Whichever member of the family hosts the feast, undoubtedly will endure the stress of preparation. No worries, though; Popular Mechanics has your back. On their website,, author Francine Maroukian eloquently describes the process of hosting your family's Thanksgiving dinner. Her article lists helpful products that can make the hosting process smoother and more efficient. This can make the host's busy day be a little easier and more enjoyable.


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Automobiles have proven to be one the most important innovations of our time. Modern transportation has made places that were thought of as unreachable, able to be navigated. Automobiles have given us the freedom to travel distances, that used to take days, in a matter of hours.

In today's society, one of the most important topics is the future of energy. Fossil Fuel combustible engines are being examined more than ever before. What are the consequences of these combustible engines on the environment? What kind of new energy sources are out there? Are electric cars really a viable option of transportation in the future? These are all important questions that need to explored in a scientific manner. Curious, young minds need a medium that can evoke a passion to maybe fix these issues themselves one day in the future.

Popular Mechanics has covered every aspect of the automobile in over its 100-plus-year history. From the engine to the trunk, Popular Mechanics has everything to entertain all curiosities of the everyday auto enthusiast. From information on cars, trucks, RV's and even how to make your dreaded morning commute faster, Popular Mechanics truly covers it all. If you have to turn a key to start it, they've probably written about it.


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The fantasy of flight puzzled humans throughout history. We've all probably seen the grainy, black-and-white films of countless inventors attempting to fly in their wacky flying machines. All of these proved to be unreliable until the Wright Brothers famous flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. Since then, millions have been curious to know everything there is to know about these flying machines.

Popular Mechanics has numerous articles devoted to the fantasy of flight. Whether it's learning about the future of flight, the safety of flight or addressing the future of personal drone use, Popular Mechanics offers the information we need to satisfy our curiosity.



For thousands of years, nations all over the globe have experienced some type of conflict. The military is used to resolve these disputes. With numerous conflicts dating back many years, these nations have produced many new inventions of war. These creations spawn curiosity in the mind of the military enthusiast. Popular Mechanics has all the content one could ever desire about the mechanics of these military machines.

How does the underwater technology of the U.S. Navy affect sea life? How are nations preparing for defending their land from the new wave of weaponized drones? How can we use some this military technology to make the world a better place? Popular Mechanics offers all the content you need to learn all about the military of today, yesterday, and tomorrow.



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The exploration of space has long been considered the final frontier. With the formation of NASA after World War II, the United States entered a heated competition with the Soviet Union's space program. These two rival empires began what is today known as, the "Space Race". This rivalry also inadvertently spawned a new genre of entertainment, Science Fiction.

With millions of fans of franchises such as Star Wars and Star Trek, the genre of Science Fiction has become one of the most popular genres of entertainment worldwide. Popular Mechanics provides content that will satisfy any Science Fiction fanatic. Popular Mechanics offers various articles on the topic of space, as well as the superheroes (and villains) of science fiction.


Demographics and Reach

The demographics of Popular Mechanics include anyone with a curious mind. With the invention of the Internet, once hard-to-reach scientific information is now available in the palms of our hands and at the click of a button. Popular Mechanics has always strived to be innovative and informative at the same time. Their information is available worldwide, and their reach is unlimited. People in any country can now learn anything they want to know by jumping on the internet.

Popular Mechanics' website,, has a lifetime worth of information. This information is clearly labeled and very easy to find. Navigating their website is also simple and enjoyable. Popular Mechanics has a podcast that is linked on their website as well. Podcasts are a great way to learn on the go, especially when time is precious.

What We've Learned

There will always be new inventions and innovations in our society. How do curious minds stay informed about these innovations? Popular Mechanics has been a beacon of information for these curious minds for over 100 years. There is a reason Popular Mechanics has been able to stay relevant for all these years. The main reason for the publication's success has been its ability to cover popular scientific topics in a fun, yet informative manner. This method of bringing information to every curious mind, young and old, will continue to bring in new readers for generations. There will always be new innovations, and it's pretty much a guarantee that Popular Mechanics will have it covered.