Fallout Shelters – All the Rage in the Space Age

January 2, 2009

I found these great old fallout shelter photographs, drawings, and brochures. The fallout shelters were popularized during the Cold War era. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy and the Federal Government started the Community Fallout Shelter Program. Below are some images from the LIFE archive and Flickr.  The images from the “Fallout Shelter Handbook” were borrowed from Ward-o-Matic, he’s got some more great scans from the book here.

Cover of LIFE magazine - January 12, 1962

Cover of LIFE magazine - January 12, 1962

A mock up bomb shelter from LIFE Magazine

A mock up bomb shelter from LIFE Magazine

bomb-shelterfallout_shelter_family_plan

Presentation of items to bring along to your very own fallout shelter

Presentation of items to bring along to your very own fallout shelter

Do it yourself and build your own shelter with this brochure!

Do it yourself and build your own shelter with this brochure!

Another "Build-it-Yourself" fallout shelter book

Another "Build-it-Yourself" fallout shelter book

Shelter circa 1955

Shelter circa 1955

Business Executive, Keith S. McHugh, arguing the advantages of fallot shelters for every home with Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller - LIFE archive 1960

Business Executive, Keith S. McHugh, arguing the advantages of fallot shelters for every home with Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller - LIFE archive 1960

Bomb Shelter circa 1963

Bomb Shelter circa 1963

bombfallout-shelter-5

Fall out shelter circa 1961

Fall out shelter circa 1961

A "do-it-yourself" shelter sketch

A "do-it-yourself" shelter sketch

bombfalloutshelterinteriorlarge

Advertisement for fall out shelter

Advertisement for fall out shelter and a nuclear survival guide

An advertisement for shelter beds

An advertisement for shelter beds

6 Responses to “Fallout Shelters – All the Rage in the Space Age”

  1. giiid said

    This is really a great blog. I am impressed to see how you can find and select SO many interesting pictures at every post. Visiting this blog frequently is a must, and it is of course on my blogroll.
    Greetings and happy new year from Birgitte, Denmark

  2. being a citizen of a nuclear armed country neighbouring a country with immature leadership this post really impressed me and is of prime importance for us pakistanis at least.
    btw im from Pakistan which neighbours India.

    • Americanpolitico said

      Ha, that’s funny! A Pakistani worried about India? Pakistan can barely maintain it’s own government, is full of radical islamo facists, and is currently letting Osama Bin Laden and his co horts hideout in its borders… And you’re worried about India’s “immature” government? Talk about glass houses.

  3. This is a great site thanks we also do fall out shelters,built start-finish @ northwestsheltersystems.com

  4. ward said

    Thank you for the credit! Great post, by the way.

  5. moby Doug said

    The biggest reason Civil Defense touted fallout shelters was to create the illusion that Nuclear War was survivable. These pathetic graphics from a half century are a joke to any sane person looking back at them. But who’s sane? As recently as immediately after 9/11/2001 federal authorities were suggesting duct tape as a defense against poison gas….

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