Ads #43: You Can Survive Atomic Fallout

Welcome to Pleasant Valley USA.  Smell the freshly cut lawns and barbecue in the air.  Kids on bikes, dads reading the paper out on the patio, and moms taking the Studebaker out to the hair salon.... everything's just dandy.

Except for one thing: If Khrushchev wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, this entire suburb will be reduced to radioactive cinder.  Mom, dad, the kids, even the poodle will all be disintegrated..... if they're lucky.  If they're not lucky, they'll end up wandering the ravaged earth covered in festering tumors praying for death.

How about purchasing a fallout shelter and all the delightful fixings? While your neighbors are obliterated into vapor, you can be relaxing in the comfort of your own home!  Buy it today..... because there may not be a tomorrow!

 click images to enlarge


  1. You would need a shelter the size of a circus tent to hold all of this stuff.

  2. I like the kid in the second picture: "Sorry, Mom, Dad, but I'm getting the hell out of here!"

    97% can survive; my luck, I'll be part of that 3% that will either be vaporized, dry roasted, or irradiated to death.

  3. Awesome post. I have an old LIFE magazine with DIY blueprints for fallout shelters with this great graphic of mom cooking, the daughter playing with her doll and dad watching the mushroom cloud through a small window. How reassuring, except everyone in the photo would really be dead.

    This blog


    is the holy grail for all things WW3/civil defense related.

  4. I live within ten miles of Bangor base, home of the Pacific boomer* fleet perhaps the worlds most concentrated nuclear arsenal. If war broke out it would be attacked and my world would end in a flash of light

    *SSBN is the United States Navy's hull classification symbol for a nuclear-powered, ballistic nuclear missile-carrying submarine.[1] The SS denotes a "submersible ship", the B denotes "ballistic missile," and the N denotes "nuclear powered." In US naval slang, ballistic missile submarines are called "boomers". They operate on a "Gold" and "Blue" two-crew concept. The current fleet of ballistic missile submarines in the United States Navy consists of Ohio class submarines.

  5. NPR recently had a piece on the air that I caught the end of while driving home, I think it was about closing post offices in parts of the country that are shrinking population-wise for one reason or another. An antiques collector interviewed in the piece said that something she happened upon while one of the post office's furnishes was being liquidated was a stack of CHANGE OF ADDRESS cards to be distributed in the event of a nuclear war. Man......I would LOVE to get my mitts on one of those.

  6. Any idea when this folder was published? My work had me documenting a prefab shelter on someone's property - think a metal curbside mailbox blown up to 8 by 12 feet and buried. I was doing library research trying to find advertising for such a thing - the last newspaper references I found were late in 1962, after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and they were kind of flippant, like we'd all just dodged a bullet and were ready to relax and enjoy the holidays.

  7. Three things:

    1. I have always thought it would be cool to have a bomb shelter to hang out in and play music or do whatever.

    2. I sometimes wonder how many are out there and have been forgotten.

    3. I read somewhere a while back that the building of such shelters is on the rise again.

  8. I believe that the ad predates 1962, it was at that time that the General Merchandising Company was bought out by J.C. Penney and re-branded as The Treasury or Treasure Island and the store name would have changed. I think the big push with back yard fallout shelters was in the late 50's and continued into the early '60's. The Life magazine I mentioned in an earlier post is from Sept 1961 and fallout shelters feature prominently. i have seen other magazines in that time frame with similar articles (Look, Saturday Evening Post).

  9. This sure looks amusing now but I remember duck and cover drills in the 3rd grade. We'd cower under our desks and be told not to look at the windows. Believe it or not I still have the occasional nightmare.

  10. The book Survival City has a lot about fallout shelters and other aspects of nuclear architecture (such as proposals to move entire cities underground! Total safety from Red attack!).

  11. I love the idea of using the Coleman gasoline stove in the fallout shelter. Carbon monoxide poisoning is so much a nicer death than radiation poisoning, don't'cha think?