1951 ... grim and gore!




... making sure to keep Americans up at night with nightmares; 'Pageant' magazine, February, 1951.



 

1950 ... designing cities to be bombed?!



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1950 ... shooting at the sky!


... as bombers became faster and flew higher and higher; shooting them down with conventional Anti-Aircraft Artillery would become virtually impossible. But by 1960 and the advent of effective guided Surface to Air Missiles the situation reversed.


 

... when regular won't do it!



... top image is a size comparison between normal steel bar used in 'reinforced concrete' and the nuclear blast resistant type used in construction of this ICBM 'command capsule'.

... as pointed out before; when thinking about these underground structures it is an easy mistake to imagine them tunneled out like a mining operations. They are usually gigantic holes with the structures built at the bottom and then filled in.


 

1983 ... 'The Day After'

 LINK

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1951 ... 'Pogo' VTOL [my artwork]


... more fantastic, almost made-it technology from the Cold-War. As I get better at this Aerospace Art stuff; it's big fun to create imagery that has never existed before. Imagining what some of these crazy-cool brainchilds would have been like if they had gone on to fruition and even combat. All sorts of factors come into play with the various scenarios. 

One interesting point is 'need'. How badly was a VTOL ship based convoy protection needed? In WWII convoy air cover was vital and pivotal. In the Cold War it was one of those 'hmmm' questions. But without the reality of millions of tons of vital supplies going to the bottom, the Military-Industrial Complex had time and money to screw around as much as they wanted. Besides- the technology was moving so fast that before it got off the drawing board an idea was already obsolete.



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... happy shelter time!


... would love to interview those kids!. Wow- what was it  like to be cooped up in that tiny space for a week? Bet Richard and Sharon-Ann became Gin-Rummy experts!


 

1945 ... what ended the war!


... from Fall 1945 'Life' magazine. More facts coming out about the Atomic Bomb.

I have long maintained that Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the sacrificial cities that prevented a nuclear, apocalyptic World War Three. Without this firsthand knowledge, without this horrible experience; using these weapons in a general war would have been inevitable.


 

1945 ... people start to learn about the Atom Bomb!



... Trinity test site, Alamogordo, New Mexico. Site of very first atomic test blast. That's the kind of a scorch mark you get when detonating a 20 kiloton bomb. Light area is sand turned to glass by the fireball heat. This is from a Fall 1945 issue of 'Life' magazine. Average Americans are starting to get details about the wonder weapon that suddenly, unexpectedly ended WWII.




 

... the cute will survive!


... somehow this is a topic where cute equals creepy!

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1955 ... 'doom-town' USA


... 'Operation Teapot' An unusually tall Civil Defense official poses with condemned mannequins inside a  typical American suburban house about a mile from ground zero for a 20 kiloton atomic bomb test. 


... these lesbian mannequins were able to make a final contribution to a wholesome, Communist free American way of life.


 
 

... Strategic Air Command- Center - Offutt AFB



... always fascinating to catch glimpses of the underground control-command bunker for SAC deep under Offutt Air Force base. Lots of heavy, reliable old technology. Overhead projectors just like we had in grade school !

Here's a link to a surprisingly detailed view (your tax dollars at work) in 1964 Air Force vivid Ektachrome.



... new posts



If you like a blog- it's nice to know that you can come to it on a regular basis and see something new!

I will try my best to put up new posts once a week on the weekend; or by the latest Monday. Enjoy!


1956 ... guided-missile Navy!



LINK to magazine article.

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... B-58 'Hustler' crew


...not sure about those 'mission marks'; but I suspect it has to do with test drops of the various weapons pods.




... busy day for the Navy!





... when you think of food - think of missiles!

from: http://up-ship.com/blog/

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... and now a word from our sponsers!



from:http://up-ship.com/blog/

1951 ... ready to slug it out!


... with the America grimly mired in Korea the inevitability of a war with the Soviet Union was on a lot of minds. Barely five years after the end of World War II it felt as if the Communist monolith headed by Stalin was pushing toward WW 3!

We should give credit to nuclear deterrence as keeping the world from getting into what would have been a conventional war as terrible as the one that had just finished. If the US had not had a monopoly on the A-bomb would the Soviets have pushed over all of Europe? How much safer and happier would Stalin have been with a secure empire from the Atlantic to the Pacific? 

 

1950 ... sneaky Reds (Korea)



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1960 ... 'Pluto' plugs ahead!




 

1951 ... fill-er-up!


... XC-99 (cargo version of the B-36 bomber) imagined as a gigantic tanker airplane. Never happened. The first USAF tankers in service were converted B-29 Superfortresses. Then a bloated version of the B-29 the KC-97. All the while the prop driven tankers were way too slow for the early jets they were refueling making the procedure dangerous and cumbersome. In spite of adding jet pods to help the props the system did not find perfection until the 1957 introduction of the famous KC-135 all jet tanker. This was the military version of what would go on to become the Boeing 707; America's first jet airliner. The military and the nuclear deterrence came first. Tourists and businessmen had to wait another year (1958) for 707 and American jet-travel.

note: refueling passenger jets in flight was too dangerous and expensive to ever be seriously considered.

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... colorful atomic bombs!





1952 ... ooo- that's a big one!


... full concept painting for a 1952 issue of 'Weird Fantasy' comics. Love how the Hudson River is starting to fill in the crater.


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1958 ...sex, spark-plugs and missiles!


... leave it to Madison Avenue to infer that this winsome queen of domesticity will be waiting for you when you get home from a long day of planning on how to blow-up the world!


 

1951 ... dreams of atomic flight!


... still hard to wrap my head around the idea of no fuel being burned- just lots of hot air! Atomic reactors and airplanes do not mix. One is crazy heavy and bulky! The opposite of what you want an airplane to be! The idea of flying around forever on a handful of uranium pellets sounds very cool! But more efficient jet engines and (the less crazy idea) of transferring fuel from a tanker airplane won out.

Also; nobody really needs to fly around the world several times without landing. The need is to go to a destination; to visit or bomb. The need for this type of technology was short lived. Soon surpassed by the range and speed of missiles.

The more I look at Cold War nuclear war technology, the more I find myself repeating the phrase "it only has to work once!"


(note: this illustration clearly shows the British Saunders-Roe 'Princess' flying boat. Though obsolete before finished, it was of interest to American mad-scientists who saw it's vast size as possibly able to accommodate a nuclear power plant.)

... new super-hero?


... obviously; when exposed to radiation you will become gigantic, naked and emit an eerie blue glow!

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... a very big door!


... stumbled across this photo; perhaps form the Acme Very Big Door Company?
Not sure they make doors like that unless they have something to do with really big atomic explosions. 



 

... Titan; up close and personal !



and here is a Link to the PBS 'American Experience' Command and Control .
A documentary about the 1980 accidental explosion of a Titan missile in it's silo. Provides a lot of excellent background info on just how much work it is to babysit a giant rocket in a hole in the ground! 




... something silly!




... a humorous take on two well-worn favorites!

B-47... a beautiful beast! (my art)



... for a Dr. Strangelove wann-be like me; it has been a childhood dream come true to realize I have considerable talent in the Aerospace-Defense illustration field. I started out as a photojournalist, went on to spend a couple of decades shooting commercial studio work and fashion ans (somehow) in the past two years have fallen into cranking out 'photo-illustrations' of airplanes and rocket-ships. So going from hot-babes in next to nothing outfits to atomic-bombers and moon rockets is a fair trade!

The point is that it's great fun to be able to imitate and create anew the king of 'G-Whiz' illustrations that I remember from my Cold-War/ Space-Age youth. It is a chance to make the sort of images that I wish existed - and now do!

...can't resist a post of 'Dutch' Holland and the 'Stratojet' for 'Strategic Air Command' 





... scarin' the snot out of NATO (my art)


... the M-50 'Bounder' was as a desperate attempt to produce a Soviet supersonic-bomber. Only two prototypes were built. They were very big, cool looking and had very under-performing engines. But; Boris and Natasha (after large amounts of Vodka were consumed) managed to convince an editor for 'Aviation Week' that the 'Bounder' was really a Nuclear-Powered strategic bomber. Ha-ha- stoopid Capitalist Pig Fools!

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1947 ... Berlin Airlift - RAF Coastal Command (my artwork)


... yes - the Short-Solent did not actually participate in the Berlin airlift. Sunderlands did; but there were no high quality photographs to use as reference.
So squint your eyes a little- or have a stiff scotch - and pretend it's a Sunderland!

 

... Buy My Art!

... here's a shameless self-promotion for all of you Cold-War buffs out there to Buy My Art!
You can get it in beautiful framed art pieces for your wall - or totally crass sell-out commercial forms like t-shirts, coffee cups and shower curtains! (shower curtains?) Be the first on your block to have a B-52 shower curtain!



... loading new stuff every week- so come back often!



 

... know your doomsday alphabet!


... trying to figure out the original publication date of this book is difficult - apparently it is still in print!

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1949 ... Red peril rides the Heavens!


... from a time that was vastly different- men wore bow-ties!


... more Atomic Comics!




... mad scientists (atomic) wanted!



... come to beautiful New Mexico; land of enchantment, 110 degrees in the shade, scorpions and tarantulas! Recruitment ads for the nuclear weapons and research industry (early 1950's?). Originally started as a super-secret collection of super-brains in the middle of god-foresaken nowhere; Los Alamos National Labs is just the place for you and the wife and kids to pack-up and settle! 

images from the excellent site- 'Restricted Data'  http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/

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Nagasaki, Japan 1946, by Robert Graham




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