History of the Whole Earth Catalog and The Birth of West Coast Publishing

A copy of the first WEC. 1,000 copies were printed, according to Stewart. Very rare these days; used copies run from $250 to over $900.

A few weeks ago, I said I’d post more on The Whole Earth Catalog, which is having its 50th year anniversary party this October, and I ran across this post from 3 years ago: www.lloydkahn.com/…

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

5 Responses to History of the Whole Earth Catalog and The Birth of West Coast Publishing

  1. Hi Lloyd, I just checked my memory by digging out my copy of Dome Book 2 to verify that you were the editor of that also. You have been supporting my interest in alternative housing for decades! I built a round house in the '80s but had to sell it several years to move on following the grand kids.
    Good on You.

  2. Oh, all the projects—and dreams!—wrapped up in that evocative cover. So many hours spent poring over other the lives and passions of others. The Sears Roebuck catalogue of my generation.

  3. I just found a copy of THE LAST WHOLE EARTH CATALOG at a antique store in Keokuk, Iowa. I bought it because of this post. I also had at one time the first one….left it in Hawaii, but carried the creative ideas with me………forever. Now I live in a yurt style house with antique logs for the sides. Thank you Lloyd for all your works of alternative journalism and dreamers like me sometimes get dreams done because we’ve read your books. aloha, irene

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