Can you identify this book?
May 31, 2020 1:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a book I had as a kid. It was passed down from my brothers, so it was probably from the late 50s or early 60s. I can't remember the name of the book, but it was like a how things work type of book for young adults with color illustrations and descriptions of various things.

It was an oversize book but only about a half inch thick. If you are familiar with book Reader's Digest These United States, it was about that size but not as thick.

Some things that stick out in my mind:

- It had a description and illustration of how a manual transmission worked.
- The section on space travel featured color illustrations of 50s era Von Braun ferry rocket and doughnut shaped space station.
- It had a color illustration of a whaling vessel complete with a whale being processed.

That's about all I can remember other than I enjoyed reading this book. My brothers and I all don't talk to each other so I can't ask them if they remember the title. I figured I'd give AskMe a try.
posted by Rob Rockets to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is it The Way Things Work?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:51 AM on May 31, 2020

Or possibly this earlier version with the same name, which is a thick book, smaller than the format you describe. It came in two volumes.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:55 AM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Tell Me Why came out in 1965. I have seen various sizes, I think.
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 4:21 AM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I had this book, and a similar one about the human body, also hand me downs from my brother.

Was the title something like "The way things WORK, how they are MADE and ...[something else ending in a single bold word]' with three words of the title in much bigger letters across the cover?
posted by latkes at 6:25 AM on May 31, 2020

I'm remembering a cross section of a cruise ship
posted by latkes at 6:27 AM on May 31, 2020

This is the book I had when I was little and it was the most wonderful book in the world! What Makes it Go? What Makes it Work? What Makes it Fly? What Makes it Float?

On preview, what Latkes said :) I wish I could find my old copy. It's way dated now, but I loved it so much.
posted by silverstatue at 7:29 AM on May 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It's definitely not The Way Things Work, because we had that also, but it's along those lines. It's not Tell Me Why either.

latkes: I think the title was indeed along the lines of what you are saying. I recall the title being in multiple parts.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:29 AM on May 31, 2020

Interior illustrations! Is this it??
posted by latkes at 7:54 AM on May 31, 2020

Response by poster: latkes: Sorry, that isn't it. The illustrations in the book I'm thinking off were more life-like.
posted by Rob Rockets at 11:57 AM on May 31, 2020

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