The English Mechanic and World of Science
|First issue||March 1865|
|Final issue||October 1926|
The English Mechanic and World of Science was a popular-science magazine, published weekly from 1865 to 1926, generally consisting of 24 pages. It was aimed at people interested in inventions and gadgets and new discoveries in science, technology, and mathematics. A regular chess column was also included, written by James Pierce.
The magazine popularized amateur telescope construction in the UK and later in the United States after the Reverend William Frederick Archdall Ellison's articles on the subject were reprinted in the Scientific American. A letter published in the magazine also led to the formation of the British Astronomical Association.
In the May 1899 issue there was an article by T Hyler-White (1871–1920) on a motor tricycle that could be powered by a 1.75 hp De Dion-Bouton. Following this and starting in January 1900 there appeared a series of 56 further articles entitled "A small car and how to build it", containing the plans for what was probably the UK's first kit car. The design was based on the Benz Velo, and it was suggested that a Benz engine should be used and to keep down costs various secondhand parts should be used, although some new castings were made available with a machining service if required.
Further series of articles appeared with more designs including in 1901 a steam car, in 1902 a steam-3 wheeler, in 1904 a 5 hp twin-cylinder car, in 1909 a single-cylinder engined runabout and finally in 1913 a cyclecar.
It is not known how many cars were built following the plans but at least four survive. They are collectively known today as "English Mechanics" but it is probable that a variety of names was used at the time.
- Downie, Neil A. (2006), Exploding Disk Cannons, Slimemobiles, and 32 Other Projects for Saturday Science, JHU Press, ISBN 978-0-8018-8506-8
- Hole, Steve (2012), A–Z of Kit-Cars: The definitive encyclopaedia of the UK's kit-car industry since 1949, Haynes Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84425-677-8