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A Dangerous Book For Boys

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment

This recent publication is an incredible resource for boys and boys at heart.  Crammed with knowledge that is useful or just coolregarding major battles in history, big questions about our world and universe, neat projects to build and hurt yourself with, and general all around useful things for outdoorsy lads.

An even more incredible text that I found (literally in old boxes of my parents’) is a publication called Chums, an encyclopedia-like annual publication from the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Uncovering several of these relics, I have perused several copies.  It becomes quickly evident how skilled and adept this prior generation was at both reading and building.

One of the projects from A Dangerous Book for Boys is to build a go cart of sorts out of buggy wheels and boards.  Unpowered, it is not much more than four wheels and a couple of planks, one hinged to steer.  This is unfortunately an almost impossible task as buggy wheels from perambulators are either extinct or incredibly valuable.  The projects laid out for the boys of the early twentieth century are more involved.  From the 1928-29 edition,projects include a rabbit hutch, hanging bookshelf/cupboards, picture frames, book cases, a tracing mechanism to enlarge or reduce drawings, a ‘water motor’ (akin to a paddle wheel that might drive a mill), a dog kennel, a work bench that folds back against the wall (all the joints are notched to join securely together), and a model steam turbine engine with the statement “an actual working model that any boy can make”.

Keep an eye out for these books. Both are great reads and packed with cool stuff.
For more information about Chums check out this site.

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