I read an article in Wired last week that made me very happy: Popular Science is now online as entire archive, and it’s free! The magazine has teamed up with Google Books to make its archive available.
To search, you can start at http://www.popsci.com/archives, but I found the page a little narrow to go through the results. So I did a little messing around at Google Books and found that http://books.google.com/books?as_pt=MAGAZINES&q=intitle%3A%22popular%20science%22&rview=1 got me a cover view of 1,327 magazine results matching the title “Popular Science”. Or you can start with the Google Books query intitle:”popular science” and add any keywords in which you’re interested. (Make sure you go into advanced search and get your results from magazines only.) A cleaner URL to browse all issues is http://books.google.com/books/serial/HVhlMMQLVhcC?rview=1.
I did a search for intitle:”Popular Science” monsters and got 547 results, from “New evidence spurs hunt for Loch Ness monster” to “SPLIT Logs Easily, Without Expensive Splitters, Monster Mauls.” Results include a thumbnail of the cover and details about which issue it is. It doesn’t look like you can get results by order of date, which is unfortunate — looks like results are in order of relevance.
Results take you to individual pages with your search terms highlighted. May I please recommend the 1967 article “I used at real computer at home and so will you”.
Google Books (or in this case Magazines) still drives me a bit nuts because of the ways that you can’t sort results, and sometimes the “scrolling down” through the pages makes me overshoot things I want to read, but man, they’re adding some great content.