UPDATE: I've scanned more images -- check them out HERE.
I found this musty handbook from 1962 in a pile of similarly musty magazines and articles in a booth at the Inman Park Arts Festival several years back. The illustrated cover was what initially caught my eye but then I glanced at the large bold lettering at the top and I immediately put it in my "to buy" pile. The cover is classic: your average white American family enjoying life as best as they can after an atomic attack. What I love the most about it is that Mom is in her day dress, apron and all, preparing dinner, and Dad is relaxing in his jacket, smoking a pipe, having just finished reading the liner notes to something by the Ray Coniff Singers, probably. I didn't even take a gander at what was inside until later at home. Most of what you'll find in the handbook is pretty standard construction "how-to's" -- it could've been sold at a Home Depot if they had them back then. In the table of contents you'll find chapter headings with titles like: "How You Can Survive a Nuclear War", "Build a Shelter Now", "Stock Up Now", "Have a Plan of Action Now", "While You Are in Shelter", "Evacuation", etc. This one was interesting: "Guerrilla Warfare", with the tagline, "It'll be done by the people who survive with equipment that survives." The chapter is filled with then-impressive photos of military weapons and vehicles: jets, tanks, missiles, and the like.
Not the best photography, but there are some quaint images that I scanned and would like to share with you. Check it out (click on images to view their Flickr pages, then click "All Sizes."):
The article follows the Perkins family, who decided to do a test living in a shelter for seven days. Great revelations include: "Mrs. Perkins missed her kitchen and trips to the beauty parlor," (this was during day four); "By the fifth day, the Perkins family began to realize the seriousness of our times and the value of a shelter..."; and lastly: "...the Perkins family didn't enjoy their stay in a shelter, but, on the other hand, they found that it could be done with a minimum of discomfort and danger."
I just love that bershon pose the daughter is giving there. She doesn't look happy.
When in doubt: give a kid a book on surviving a nuclear attack to pull the heart strings of each and every reader.
This just struck me as funny. I dunno why. She's checking for radiation levels, in case you're wondering.
Ladies and gentlemen: The Loneliest Man in the World. Me thinks this was wishful thinking on his part for installing three beds, don't you agree?
Not many illustrations in this handbook, save for the cover and this one, with some nice post-nuclear winter fallout trees in the background there.
There are a few advertisements in the Fallout Shelter Handbook, most of which are dull and mundane. But there were a few that caught my eye:
I always use my children for slave labor, don't you? "Pick up the pace, Junior, Sally's looking a little peaked."
Everybody poops. Even during fallout. If I had my choice, I'd much rather go with this toilet than the following one. But then again, I'm not too sure about chemicals agitating my stink in such close-knit quarters.
Nothing like ending a post with an image of a toilet. Enjoy!
You can see all images from the Fallout Shelter Handbook in this Flickr set.
For all things atomic, be sure to check out Conelrad.com. Some great articles and short films on Civil Defense during the Cold War years.