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Anecdotes from the Archive

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I love Scientific American‘s archive not only for its record of scientific discovery but also for the surprises I invariably find there. Who knew that beyond covering cutting-edge research, Scientific American of the 1800s offered household hints and even recipes? A department called “Notes and Queries” offered tips and answers to readers’ questions. Among the useful [...]

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Anecdotes from the Archive

From Patents to Poetry: A Breakdown of Scientific American‘s Very First Issue

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Earlier this month, Nature Publishing Group and Scientific American proudly launched the completion of Scientific American‘s archives, dating back to the first issue from August 28, 1845. As America’s longest-running consecutively published magazine, it’s no surprise the content of the publication underwent several changes since its debut. What appeared in 1845 shows a periodical aimed [...]

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Scientific American Defends Marie Curie—and Women Scientists—in 1911

One of the pleasures of editing a magazine like Scientific American, with its 166-year history as the country’s longest continuously published magazine, is getting a “you are there” view of science as it was whenever I take a spin through our digital archives. The other day, while reading some 100-year-old prose, I was reminded of [...]

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Evolution of the Scientific American Logo


Scientific American’s logotype has undergone subtle shifts, large leaps and occasional bouts of nostalgia. The image series below outlines the history of the publication’s identity, starting with its debut in August 1845 as weekly devoted primarily to inventions. For more on the history of the magazine, check out this graphic to see how cover topics [...]

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