26 Hilariously Insane Old-Timey Drawings of the Future

Popular Mechanics magazine predicted the future, and they were so much better than right. A 20-wheeler tank with a DIY swimming pool is better than everything. Their "popular mechanics" were readership metrics and meant that they invented the Internet a century early. They chased views with ridiculous gadgets, news-rack-bait headlines, and big pictures with small captions. So for all the Luddites whining about the Internet ruining humanity: We were always like this. We were just slower before.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
They were the popular mechanics because they invented Michael Bay a century early.

They were printing the Web one page at a time, had a whole month to come up with their next awesome cover, and did everything it was possible to do with engines first.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
The Simpsons did it second.

The only reason their covers didn't involve cats as well was because you can't attach kittens to V-12 engines for long enough to photograph them. I've seen homemade motorbike rocket launchers, and they had nothing on this.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
The Dark Knight Rises to Copy Our Stuff

The covers were portals into the minds of the mechanics of popularity, and what they reveal was awesome and terrifying.

Ramp It

At the start of the century, massive machines were hurling humanity forward, and screw anything that thought that wasn't literal. Especially gravity.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
Electric guitar solos had just been invented, but everyone thought that was the noise tank engines made
when they weren't being slowed down by the planet.

Popular Mechanics covers were an '80s cartoon that couldn't wait until then.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
"That's a roger: Project Ultimate Sweetness has succeeded. All enemy troops have defected
just to be on the side with something this cool."

ROMANCE OF THE WONDER METAL: Someone invented sexbots decades ago and then, predictably, didn't get around to selling them to anyone else. And the sexbot is that tank. That tank would make a giant robot duck, kneel, and propose marriage. Deep in their souls, the popular mechanics knew that anything with an engine was meant to fly, whether it was meant to fly or not. Whether it was meant to exist or not.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
Finally a form of showjumping we'd watch.

"Listen, this car is 12 horsepower, and I ran over at least that many getting TurboDobbin here through the stables, so just charge them to my account and I'll keep going, OK?"

Will there ever be a more awesome conveyance?

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
Civilian vehicles are rated in horsepower. Popular Mechanics motors are rated in polar bears.

YES. For Popular Mechanics, the answer is always yes, no matter what the laws of God, man, or physics have to say about it.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
"We're not going anywhere, Marty, this is just awesome as hell."

Look at those engineers. They're not screaming in panic or leaping to safety; they're winning the world's most awesome bet. The back one is ghost riding the whip so hard that Indiana Jones spent his entire career wondering why it smelled of another man's gigantic balls. That train isn't going to explode, it's going to punch through the entire planet, burst out of the Pacific, and get the moon pregnant.


Popular Mechanics combined forward thinking with backward body issues. They apparently predicted global warming and sea level changes, because whenever a woman appeared on the cover, it was in a swimsuit. Men did everything else, but if someone was going to get wet, then it was going to be a woman. Which was unfortunately the closest the popular mechanics could come to feminism.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
"All aboard the Saucy Sue!"

Women wore swimsuits and disported for the viewing pleasure of others. That wasn't just the logic of the cover, that was the logic of some of the inventions on the cover.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
Proving that no location on Earth is safe from goddamn clowns.

If a woman did anything else, it was only to show how easy it was while the boy-children were busy building indoor shooting ranges. "These new cars feature a 'key' to start the engine, instead of the usual impact-triggered penis socket, so now you can drive to the shops to fetch beer during the game, ladies!"

Phallic Mechanics

Popular Mechanics was how Rosie the Riveter sought to get around the pornography ban on printing erect penises. And what she used to build up that bicep.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
So in your face that newsagents ducked.

That's what an illustrator draws after the sex worker says he might as well put that in for free as an apology for laughing so much. That's a cowboy who doesn't need a gun because he has more range with dick-slapping. The only other ways to enhance your manhood were petrol-powered. They thought Viagra was an import car.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
"The sea is a harsh mistress, which is why she likes me to use devices on her."

That's not a sub. That's what happens when Captain Ahab realizes that hate and love are two sides of the same coin but he still wants to harpoon the white whale. Either that or the disembodied head is test-driving Krang's sexy nightwear.

They're telling readers how to build Poseidon's dildo in the same issue they tell them how to use nails. That's one mechanic trying to become the last Mechalpha, tricking every other power tool aficionado into a watery grave. Even if the readers get it working, they won't be able to resist adding a foot or two to the Ocean Prong. By the time they're finished, you won't need to drive the sub anywhere. The water dick will be a footbridge to the other side.

Popular Mechanics via Cover Browser
"HOW FAST IS TOO FAST?" The only answers were "LET'S FIND OUT!" or being kicked out of the popular mechanics.

That man can't even feel his old dick anymore. He is past weakness of the flesh. The anti-ergonomic red toolbox is cutting through his femoral arteries that he might bleed into his new manhood. That's what a Bond villain henchman drives when he'll be damned if he'll let someone else kill him first.

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Luke McKinney

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