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A Visual History of Science, from the Pages of Scientific American [Slide Show]

This month, we turn 165 years old! To celebrate, we document the march of progress as seen through the magazine, from 1845 to today


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Rufus Porter distributed the first issue of his Scientific American with a prospectus touting the periodical as being for “those who delight in the development of those beauties of Nature, which consists in the laws of Mechanics, Chemistry, and other branches of Natural Philosophy.” He promised a paper that would instruct while it amused its reader. An eccentric character, Porter was an avid inventor who viewed scientific knowledge as a way of increasing one’s practical knowledge, and, subsequently, one’s social class. Scientific American published its first weekly issue on August 28, 1845, (the magazine went monthly in 1921) and established itself as the “advocate of industry and enterprise.”

Over the past 165 years of continuous publication, Scientific American has maintained its commitment to bringing the delights of scientific knowledge to its readers, keeping them informed about cutting-edge innovations and technologies.

View the 165th anniversary slide show


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