Build the 'Wild Goose' – all electronically!

Do you ever get the idea to build something really cool in your backyard or garage? Well, as the weather gets warmer and drier (it will right?) maybe it’s time to find a project! I have always loved those 1950′s tear-drop travel trailers.  I’d like a cool 1950′s car to pull it with too, but I will leave that for another post. So you’re looking for trailer plans, right?

We have a database for older magazine articles called Reader’s Guide Retro 1890-1982. You can find it by choosing the Database tab from our home page and then choosing the Magazines link.

I decided to try the search term “build a trailer” and came up with 9 results. The most promising was “Build Wild Goose, a sturdy overnight trailer. Popular Mechanics v. 99 (April 1953) p. 187-93″.


Although we don’t keep back issues of magazines quite that old in our collection, I knew Google Books offers full-image access to over 100 years of Popular Mechanics. Using the Google Books Advanced Book Search I entered “build wild goose” in the exact phrase field.


Behold, the whole article in its 1953 glory! Photos, plans and all.


Of course, Readers Guide Retro and Google Books aren’t limited to building tear-drop trailers, so have fun!


  1. caleb says:

    You know something interesting here is that Google Books is indexing advertisements also, so when I search for ‘build a trailer’ without getting the title from RGR first, I don’t find this article at all, even when I limit the search to the 50s.

    I think this is because the exact phrase “build a trailer” shows up in a recurring ad, burying the actual articles. I could search better for sure, and limiting the search to 1953 (as if you could know that psychicly), gets good results on Google books.

  2. Christopher says:

    Howdy Caleb!

    Yeah, isn’t that cool? RGR actually comes to the rescue. I also played around strictly with Google Books search and got all kinds of ads. So we provide the “value added” through the library!
    Finding ads may be useful in some instances though.
    Thanks for reading and your comments…