1960 ... fallout shelter display

... little Jimmy is all set to settle in for a good night's sleep out in the office building courtyard. Notice this design of shelter has an 'L' shaped entrance. Radiation travels in straight lines and cannot turn a corner. But like a lot of American Civil Defense planning it never seems to take into account radioactive fallout dust. I guess they assume that since this shelter is designed to be built  inside a basement; the house structure above will act a suitable barrier and filter for the fallout dust.


Birdy said...


B Lewis said...

The dust was to be kept out by the addition of an ordinary wooden door at the end of the L-shaped entranceway. That door, plus the positive air pressure inside the shelter created by the (hand-powered!) vent blower, would have sufficed to keep fallout out of the shelter interior.

Keep in mind that these home shelter designs were not just dreamed up on a whim. They were based upon actual shelters that were thoroughly tested during actual nuclear explosions out at the Nevada site. Yes, as blast shelters they were useless, but a shelter such as this built below or alongside a suburban home twenty miles from Ground Zero would have effectively protected its inhabitants during the two weeks it would have taken for the radiation level outside to drop to a survivable level.