Lindsay Publications has carried an eclectic mix of history, technical, and just plain weird books for a couple of decades now. You really need to take a scan through their website to appreciate the kinds of books that they carry. Repair manuals for steam locomotives, building radio gear from scratch, wet plate photography, bizarre weapons, bizarre cars, chili cookbooks, and more. Many of the books are reprints of things in the public domain, but finding them (even on sites like Google Books) is not necessarily easy, and lots of the books are compilations of magazine articles which have been culled from a number of different sources.
I worked in the main distribution center for one of the largest booksellers in the country and nobody else printed the books that Lindsay does and you’re not going to find that information in a book written recently. (Sure, you’ll find a book about the oil boom in the late 1800s/early 1900s, but Lindsay’s got books written by people working in the oil fields in that era!) The catalogs alone are fascinating, not only because they contain reprints of old magazine articles and photographs, but because its a history lesson on what could be done long before you would have thought it was possible.
I must admit that the catalog is part of the reason why I became a machinist. I saw the catalog and realized all the things it was possible for people to make and had to try it myself. If you have even a passing interest in some of the subjects covered by the books listed in the catalog, you should buy them. If you seriously think that the US is going to be in a really bad way in the near future, you should check out the website. If you’re a fan of steampunk, you should check out the website. (And they have more books in the catalog than they do on the website.)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to thumb through the catalog and see what I can afford to order before they shut down.