1957 ... doomed blimp!

... 'target' blimp- apparently this fell under the auspices of the Atomic Energy Commision's WECWBU (What Else Can We Blow-Up) division.

Here is a photo of the dead blimp after the shot-

1961 ... How And Why book of Rockets

... back then, if somebody could make a drawing of it, it was a possible super-weapon.

1947... Oppie visits Einie

... Robert Oppenheimer, the nuclear physicist who directed the 'Manhatten Project', visits Albert Einstein at Princeton. They aren't talking about bombs- Albert is writing down his favorite Goulash recipe.

( photo- Alfred Eisenstaedt )

... bad day at Kremlin!

... looks like the CCCP is under attack from atomic powered paper airplanes!

1963 ... Fortune Magazine

... article from 'Fortune' magazine about the initial deployment of America's 'Minuteman' missile system. The minuteman used a solid rocket propellant and was much more reliable and ready for immediate launch- as opposed to the previous temperamental liquid fueled ICBMs. Also first to use all integrated-circuits- no vacuum tubes!

The Minuteman III remains the USA's main deterrent missile force with 450 currently deployed.


...much is made of the fact that missile commanders wear side-arms; supposedly to protect against one of them going berserk and trying to launch a missile. A single officer initiating a launch is just not possible.
Since the mid- 50's most Strategic Air Command personnel, including aircraft mechanics, wore firearms while on duty. SAC also had a 'two-man' rule- minus the cloak and dagger. In any operations involving nuclear weapons, from gassing-up bombers to standing watch in an underground command capsule like the one shown above, nobody was ever to be alone or out of sight.

... here's the AV Kid with the super-cool opening to the 1983 movie "War Games'. It is a fairly accurate portrayal of a watch change at missile command bunker. The missiles shown in the movie are Titans not Minutemen.Part of the launch sequence is the simultaneous turning of two keys only once. This starts an automatic countdown.

1962 ... another silly concept!

... as I recall the Defense Department, when confronted with rocky uneven terrain in Afghanistan, utilized a similar secret weapon- the Mule!

... here's a video of DARPAs recent efforts-... so the enemy will die laughing when this comes up over the hill?

... well, they've got the sturdy corner of the basement part; but it looks like it's going to be a little too cozy in there. Especially for two weeks! Oh well, Dad likes to do things on a tight budget.

... Civil Defense pamphlet (portion)

... notice the 'L shaped' entrance on the shelter. Radiation travels in straight lines and cannot make a right angle turn.

1961... combo cook-out fallout shelter!

... ever industrious and cost conscious, Americans want to get the most for their buck. So for an extra couple loads of cement and a few hundred hours more you can put a patio with built in barbecue on top of your fallout shelter!

I'd rather spend the extra time and money on a perimeter defense system against the inevitable Atomic Zombies!