I recently found a 4-volume set of the Popular Mechanics Illustrated Home Handyman Encyclopedia & Guide (from 1961) in the bargain bin at a local used book store.
The ~4000 pages of projects are basically the equivalent of today’s MAKE Magazine with tons of stuff that wouldn’t be printed today due to liability concerns.
They’ve got everything from planning/building/remodeling a house, woodworking, metalworking, making your own boat/go-cart/children’s playground equipment, indoor shooting ranges, to radio repair, electronics, photography, gardening, farming, and equipment to make handling your farm animals easier.
I’ve taken pictures of the title pages and illustrations for the most interesting articles, and put them up on Flickr. I’ve also contacted Popular Mechanics to see about getting permission to break out the scanner and make proper PDFs of the best stuff.
The Flickr collections page, with one set for each volume, is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbill/collections/72157603639900790/