While Maker, coding and general DIY culture has exploded in popularity over the past 10 years, there was once a time where the only regular industry updates and project builds didn’t come from a quick Google search…they came from your monthly Popular Electronics magazine.

The popular hobbyist magazine, which was founded over 60 years ago in October of 1954, featured a variety of content tailored to those who tore apart and rebuilt their radios, TVs and other electronics.

At the time, build kits (similar to today’s Arduino and Raspberry Pi kits) had surged in popularity and each issue highlighted a variety of projects similar to today’s MAKE magazine or Instructables.


It was also the magazine that Paul Allen picked up at a newsstand in Harvard Square and showed to his friend Bill Gates…which would later inspire them to create Microsoft as a software solution for the MITS Altair microcomputer kit featured in the January 1975 issue.

Josh Bensadon's ALTAIR 8800

While the magazine ceased publication in 1982, longtime collector Josh Bensadon (above with his beloved Altair) has unbelievably released the entire collection in high-resolution PDF form.

If you find yourself in a turkey coma or need to escape the in-laws this weekend, consider pulling out the collection.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.