From the Whole Earth website:
[T]he Whole Earth Catalog [was] first published in 1968 by Stewart Brand. The Catalog found immediate success with the youth movement, selling millions of copies and quickly becoming the unofficial handbook of the counter-culture. It won the National Book Award, cited by jurors as a "Space Age Walden", hitting national bestseller lists in the process.From Wikipedia:
The Whole Earth Catalog was a sizable catalog published twice a year from 1968 to 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998. Its purpose was to provide education and "access to tools" so a reader could "find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested." Apple Inc. founder and entrepreneur Steve Jobs has described the Catalog as a conceptual forerunner of Web search engines.I think I first became interested in the Catalog through Kevin Kelly's bio.
Copies of the Catalog appear to be rather expensive. Alibris has one for $70, and more for $110+.
The books reviewed within it, on the other hand, seem to be relatively easy to get. There's a note in the inside front cover urging readers to be patient, because business that sell products listed in the Catalog often have trouble filling all the orders they received after it's published.
My theory is that people tend to want to keep their Whole Earth Catalog, because of its symbolic significance. The books reviewed within, on the other hand, had to be printed in great quantities to meet demand, so there a lot of copies out there, with fewer owners being quite as attached to them.
Anyway, I jotted down a few interesting, relevant book titles:
Jigs & Fixtures for Limited Production by Harold Sedlik
Human Engineering Design for Equipment Designers by Wesley E. Woodson and Donald W. Conover
Introduction to Engineering Design by T. Woodson
These are all either available through my local library, inter library loan, and/or for a few dollars via used book websites like Alibris or Amazon.
The other book I found recently, which if it was never in WEC, should have been:
Facility Design by Stephen Konz