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Lots of people think they have the original Whole Earth Catalog, from fall, 1968, somewhere-in their garage or attic, back in the storage shed of the old commune. If you are holding a copy, you have a collector’s item in your hands. There must be some out there, but we only know of two actual copies. Most people who think they own the first edition really have the second, or tenth, or the 1972 Last Whole Earth Catalog. Thirty years ago, WEC was a tool, not a collectible—an L.L. Bean Catalog that proclaimed, “We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”
So to celebrate WEC’s thirtieth anniversary in 1998, we published a full-size facsimile of the original Catalog: every word and every illustration from every review-from Buckminster Fuller’s Ideas and Integrities to The Dome Cookbook to the Hewlett Packard 9100A table-top calculator ($4,900 in 1968 dollars). It’s the same book, down to the funky print quality,…[more]