Tuck your kids into bed with the "Atom Blanket" and you know they'll be safe from surprise nuclear attacks!
Atom Blanket: An American blanket manufacturer is widely publicizing this lead-lined model ($49.50), said to shield wearers from atomic radiation, fire, and shock 10 miles from blast center. Civil-defense experts have not changed their view that basement shelters are more effective.
Source: Newsweek - Apr 26, 1954
Note: Although Newsweek claimed this blanket was widely publicized, I haven't been able to find any references to it in papers and magazines from the 1950s -- beyond the reference in Newsweek itself. Perhaps it was advertised in trade publications that have never been scanned and placed online.
First of all, there's actually such a thing as a Civil War Nurse Barbie. (But no Civil War Soldier Ken, featuring horrific battle injuries).
Second, it's been pointed out in a number of places (such as here and here) that the doll is historically inaccurate. So it teaches kids bad history.
Dorothea Dix, Superintendent of Female nurses, famously set strict guidelines for all Union nurses: "They were required to be between 35-50 years old and plain-looking. [No attractive young nurses!] They were to dress in black or brown dresses and were not allowed to wear jewelry of any kind."
This is what an actual Civil War nurses' uniform looked like, complete with bloodstains:
Unlike the Union, the Confederates didn't have a nurses organization that defined what nurses should wear. But Confederate nurses tended to dress in simple, plain dresses, because that was practical.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
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