Atomic Armor for Children, 1951

Designed by Lee Pauwels of Los Angeles to protect his six-year-old son from harmful atomic rays given off by a nuclear explosion. He noted that the suit wouldn't protect his son from the concussion of the blast, "But authorities believe a person could survive the blast at much closer range if he were lying down and wearing the suit. Afterward he'd be able to leave the area that had become contaminated by harmful rays."

I wonder if this suit still survives somewhere, stored in someone's attic. Well, it must be around if even atomic rays couldn't harm it. This is the kind of thing that should be on display in the Smithsonian (if I were running it).

The Eugene Guard - Jan 1, 1952

Traverse City Record-Eagle - Dec 26, 1951

via USC Digital Library

via USC Digital Library

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 21, 2015
     Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses | Fashion | Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters | 1950s

An intelligent man doing his best to protect his child. The design must not have gone anywhere though, too bad. Just so long as the kid doesn't chew the sleeves or something.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 11/21/15 at 11:14 AM
$22 in 1951 is $201 today. A bit pricey for a onesie.

What I don't understand is the second layer of flannel for 'warmth' -- every time I've been in L.A., it was short-sleeve weather even in the middle of the night.
Posted by Phideaux on 11/21/15 at 12:10 PM
Looks like some of the never used WWII gas masks I have. Never know when you might need one 😉 .
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 11/21/15 at 12:37 PM
Good thing he didn't need to use it. Let's hope that the kid was OK after wearing five pounds of shredded neurotoxics. Then again, we used to play with the mercury that dropped out of the broken thermometers -- cute little balls that rolled around in your hands -- and we turned out to be perfectly normal wuvies, right?
Posted by Harvey on 11/21/15 at 12:42 PM
Footage of this guy can be seen in Atomic Cafe, a collection of Cold War era shorts about the dangers of (or, according the government, the complete lack thereof) atomic war. Highly recommended for readers of this site. At least this kid couldn't have fared worse than the government's recommendation of putting a newspaper over your head.
Posted by Bill the Splut on 11/21/15 at 09:42 PM
It would have been more useful to give us extra hours of gym class so we could all become flexable enough to bend over and kiss our little ass goodbye.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 11/22/15 at 01:02 AM
I'm sure none of the kids on the block laughed at Richard when he wore that out in public!
Posted by KDP on 11/23/15 at 09:55 AM
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