Better Homes and Gardens Handyman's Book - 1951 First Edition
We are calling this the Handyman's Book, but it might better be titled the Unhandyman's Book... (from the Introduction)
1950s homeowners unite! This is the book for you if you live in a 1950s-era brick ranch, postwar cape, or midcentury kit house or if you just happen to be an old house lover of any era.
Meant for the home improvement crowd, this book taught DIYers everything (EVERYTHING!) they needed to know when it came to home repair, design and technique. From the very very basics (how to hold a saw) to the more industrious (how to build an in-ground pool) to quirky midcentury trends (how to build a temporary wading pool for the kiddos) this book in careful step-by-step instruction made all homeowners capable of tackling any job they wanted. Build your own kitchen shelves? Sure! Organize your tool shop for ease and function? You bet! Paint the outside of your house? You can do it! Rewire that fritzy doorbell? Of course!
Before there were endless YouTube videos, there was this binder-style book full of photographs, confidence, and possibility. Published in 1951 by the Meredith Corporation it was part of a series of DIY books for readers of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. So popular in its content, it was published several times after with different covers and some tweaks on content as the decades progressed and new design influences and materials emerged. This book is the original first edition with the often hard-to-find faux bois dust jacket.
So fun if you are renovating an old house, living in an old house, or just need some practical advice or inspiration for a retro design project, this book is a lovely little glimpse into midcentury home life.
- Binder Style
- Color-coded chapter tabs
- 480 pages
- 1951 First Edition with original dust jacket
- Illustrated throughout with black and white photos and whimsical illustrations
In lovely vintage condition. The dust jacket bears some chippy spots along the top and bottom edge and the first endpaper (title page) is loose from the binding but still sits inside the rings. All other pages are intact and bright and clean with no spots, stains or pencil marks.
Measures 8" inches (width) x 10" inches (length) x 2" inches (diameter) and weighs 3lbs.