1949 ... B-36: a whole lotta airplane!

(above) set-up for Recon version
(above) note red arrows show movement between different levels

 ... ah yes- the mighty B-36 Convair 'Peacemaker'. I got a chance to see one of these at the Dayton Air force Museum back in the late 1960's when it was still on display outside. It was clear that it was a case of available technology pressed to the limits- and beyond! Conceived of originally as a way to bomb Germany with conventional weapons if England has fallen during WW II. Crazy big heavy monster that could not hold together for very long. It had to be so big to hold all the rail cars full of high-test gas to get it to the other side of the world and back.

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1971 ... " 'Searchlight' on Sequoia"

... memo regarding improving communication links for the times President Nixon was aboard the official presidential yacht USS Sequoia .

1962 ... lesson of the glowing house!

... actually a 'split-level' is a poor choice for shelter- since only a part of the basement level is actually below grade! Remember- dirt is your friend!

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1964 ... yummy!

... a Civil Defense cracker is the size and shape of a full shingle of Graham Cracker. It intentionally tastes like cardboard! Six crackers a day was the basic ration for an adult.That was only 700 calories per 24 hours with a goal of approx.10,000 calories, total stockpiled rations per person, during the course of a two week sheltering. 

With the average healthy diet listed at  2,000 calories a day; we would have seen a much slimmer America emerging into the post-apocalypse landscape! Civil Defense plans really meant a bare subsistence diet. I have to wonder in what shape these survivors would be in to rebuild the world!
This must be one of the reasons that many Civil Defense instructions urge people to bring along non-perishable food to a public shelter. But no family pets allowed- unless they're part of the smorgasbord! 

... it was common policy for government Survival Rations (specifically military) to 'have the taste appeal of a boiled potato'. This was to discourage there consumption in all but the life and death circumstances they were designed for.

... more on Civil defense rations here.

1955 ... "man down! "

... Operation 'Teapot'. 'Apple -2' shot. 29 kiloton. Dime store mannequin survival rate- zero.

... what were they thinking? Well, the 'Apple-2' shot was a chance for the Civil Defense folks to learn as much as they could about just how badly Atomic Bombs walloped all the various parts of our everyday American lives. Houses, cars, telephone poles and the various etc. Of course someone wanted to know what it did to people. In 1955 a cheap plaster dummy was the closest scientific instrument.

(there have always been rumors the Soviets and the Chinese used political prisoners)

... here's a link to an official 1955 film about this test. It's called 'Operation Cue'; which really refers to 'Operation Doorstep'; which is a part of the larger 'Operation Teapot'; from which 'Shot: Apple #2' was the 29 kiloton atomic detonation utilized. Is that clear? And for all you suburbanites who have been putting off that much needed house painting we'll throw in 'The House in the Middle'.

... 'makin' the donuts!'

... X-10 reactor 'face' at Oak Ridge Labs. One way to 'enrich' atomic fuel is to stick it in with a bunch of other radioactive stuff. Hence the tern 'atomic-pile'.

1951 ... another bad idea!

1950 ... Ilyushin 'Beagle'

... Boris and Natasha may have told the guys at Popular Science this was a Tupolev design- but in reality it is an Ilyushin II-28, NATO code name "Beagle'. Side note: the Soviet Air Force has always been obsessed with providing all aircraft with a rear gun if there was any possible way to jam one in. This devotion to blazing away at tail-gators extends to present day military transports!

1953 ... lurid fantasies!

... this reminds me of an email conversation I had with a Russian fellow who lamented they had no equivalent comic books in the USSR during the Cold War.

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1951 ... unstoppable bomber!

1950 ... 'Self Preservation In An Atomic Attack'

...US Army training film ... who, what, where and how of about the when you get nuked and all of the how to KEEP FIGHTING!

Is that clear soldier?!

1981 ... patio brick not included!

... it's the 80's and they're still digging!

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1957 ... will fly forever!

... there are already a lot of earlier entries in this blog about the dreams and faltering attempts to develop an atom-powered airplane. Short version- too dangerous- too expensive- surpassed by more reasonable technology.

LINK to this 1957 article. (isn't the Internet amazing!)

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