Category:
Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters

Harold Tifft’s Portable Nuclear Bomb Shield

Harold Tifft claimed that his portable shield would "protect the wearer against heat, atomic radiation, atomic fall-out and flying debris in the event of nuclear warfare." When not in use it fit inside a carrying case, but when needed it could be rapidly assembled into a full-body shield. From his patent:

The compactness of the shield (due to the telescoping of the various sections) permits the owner thereof to easily carry it with him from place to place. Also, due to its compactness, it can be easily and unobtrusively stored in either the office or the home. When an alarm is sounded by civil defense authorities, civilians who have the described shield close at hand would be able to fit themselves with the shield in a very short period of time. A civilian thus outfitted could then place himself against the floor, the ground, or a vertical surface and wait until the explosion has occurred or the danger passed. The fact that each lower section telescopes with the section next above it enables the wearer to raise as many sections as may be necessary to permit walking or running in the event that the wearer is suddenly forced to abandon his position in favor of a safer one.

In his patent he never mentioned how much the thing weighed. Carrying the thing around constantly would surely have been a challenge.







Cincinnati Post - Jan 26, 1960

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 19, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Patents, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1960s

Fallout Fashion Show

It's no weirder than many of the outfits displayed at fashion shows nowadays.

Charlotte News - Oct 11, 1961

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 15, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Fashion, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1960s

Follies of the Madmen #587

We have seen instances of this theme before: a giant nuclear mushroom cloud does not indicate death and destruction, but rather it shows your product is powerful.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 07, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Death, Music, Advertising, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1960s, Weapons

In the event of nuclear war, drink beer

Sounds like a sensible plan to me.

As for whether bottles would protect the beer inside from radiation, I imagine that would be the least of one's concerns after a nuclear war.

Tacoma News Tribune - July 7, 1958

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 08, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Inebriation and Intoxicants, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950s

Atomic Bomb Survival Jacket

As the designers admitted, it wasn't going to protect anyone against an atomic bomb or radiation. But as a survival jacket it seemed pretty well equipped. Though a backpack full of the same stuff would seem to be more practical.

"Jean Shore displays inside pocket arrangement of survival jacket."
image source: Harry Ransom Center



Muncie Star Press - Jan 15, 1951

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 05, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Fashion, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950s

Uranium may be in your backyard

From what I can gather, this device (a 'geigerscope') would make visible the flashes of radiation given off by radioactive substances such as uranium. But (not mentioned by the ad) it only worked in complete darkness, with a dark-adapted eye. So not a practical way to hunt for uranium deposits.

And if you had uranium in your backyard, you might wanna find somewhere else to live.

More info: periodictable.com

Red Mask, May-June 1955

Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 20, 2023 - Comments (5)
Category: Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters

Rachel Pinney, the Silent Doctor

In August 1961, Rachel Pinney took the following vow: "I intend to maintain silence on every Wednesday until my country formally renounces Nuclear Weapons. This silence is to be maintained non-violently in the face of any provocation."

Since Pinney worked as a medical doctor, her vow created some awkwardness with the patients she saw on Wednesdays. She had to communicate with them by means of nodding her head, hand signals, and notes (writing prescriptions).

According to her obituary, she maintained the vow for almost 30 years. Of course, the UK still has nuclear weapons.

Her once-a-week protest reminds me of Mildred Ruth Gordon who fasted every other day to show support for draft resisters.



Daily Mirror - Aug 10, 1961

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 29, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Riots, Protests and Civil Disobedience, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1960s

Home Fallout Shelter Snack Bar

In 1980, FEMA published plans that allowed anyone to build their own Home Fallout Shelter Snack Bar. The plans are available at archive.org.





In 1983, artist Michael Smith followed FEMA's plans and built a Fallout Shelter Snack Bar, which he then displayed as an art installation. To accompany the snack bar, he also created a video game housed in a custom, upright arcade cabinet:

In the game, air sirens blast, and a pixel version of Smith's recurring dopey, tv-dadish "Mike" is charged with moving three blocks from the 1st floor of a suburban house to its basement to create a fallout shelter before the bomb hits (spoiler: it's impossible to win).

More info: rhizome.org

source: Video Installation 1983




Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 11, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1980s

Reassuring news in the event of a nuclear war

The reassuring news, according to Dr. G.D. Kersley, was that if you've had one nuclear bomb dropped on you, you're unlikely to have another.

Kersley's article appeared in the Aug 9, 1958 issue of the British Medical Journal. You can read it here. The reassuring comments are on the final page, in the conclusions section.

Birmingham Post - Aug 8, 1958

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 06, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: War, Weapons, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950s

How to protect the home and family after a nuclear explosion

"I am sure if the powers that might wage war upon us knew that the population of the country was calmly clear on the information which can be used to protect themselves and their families, and knew what steps will be taken, then that might be the greatest deterrence to the use of any form of nuclear warfare."

It'd be nice to think that it was the calm practicality of British housewives that saved the world from nuclear warfare.

Vancouver Sun - Nov 27, 1957



Westminster and Pimlico News - Feb 27, 1959

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 01, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950s

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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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