It’s Halloween in 1953 Richland, and what are the Atomic Frontier kids thinking?

Historic photos from the Hanford Project Atomic Frontier – It’s Halloween in 1953 Richland, and what are the kids thinking?

Hanford Declassified Project Remixed - Happy Halloween

The kids are wondering, can I trick or treat in a fallout shelter?

Y’know, if need be.

Tinted a photo from the Hanford declassified archive.

Halloween, Sex, and The Atomic Frontier – The Hanford Project, 1951

Historic photos from the Hanford Project Atomic Frontier – It’s Halloween and the woman in blue is thinking, “What if I’m having sex when the bomb drops? Will I go to hell?”

Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project - It's Halloween and...
Enlargement

The mind-set was not, “What if I die before I (fill in the blank).”

The mind-set was instead, “What if the bomb drops before…”

I’ve gathered a few Halloween photos from the Hanford declassified archive–the three here (plus one of them that I’ve taken the liberty of tinting) are of a Halloween party for dorm 21, year 1951. They provide a nice view on Halloween decorations of the era, the orange and black crepe paper streamers, silhouette of a shapely broom-riding witch against a harvest moon, attended by bats, and a come-hither spider on another wall inviting partiers into its parlor. A man plays at being the ghost of Sleepy Hollow with a small, carved pumpkin for his head.

Considering the era, and the dreamy look in the eyes of the woman whose companion has tucked his head into her neck, his hand seductively curling hers on his shoulder, seems to me this may very well have been on the woman’s mind. The bomb could happen at any time, and what if they did have sex after the dance–it would be one thing for the bomb to drop while she was being good, but what if it dropped while she was being not so good? Culture was entwined with god, proceeded from god, and how ever would she explain herself to a judgmental deity who demanded there be no sex outside of marriage?

An individual of such mind would also wrestle with the dismal prospect of what if the bomb dropped and she or he had not had sex yet?

“Bewitched” was a big hit song of 1950. Perhaps they were dancing to this.

Continue reading Halloween, Sex, and The Atomic Frontier – The Hanford Project, 1951

Romance on the Atomic Frontier, declassified


Gun-toting dancer, Declassified
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.
copyright J Kearns 2006

The couple dancing is from one of the Atomic Frontier Days festivals celebrating the friendly merging of a gun-toting old west with the glorious nuclear future.

The photo of the sign collaged over the couple is one of many photos of signs in the Hanford Declassified archive.

They depict the real Atomic Frontier

Continue reading Romance on the Atomic Frontier, declassified

The Colossus of Hanford (declassified)


The Colossus, Declassified
2006
Digital Painting/photo collage
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.

Read the introduction to the Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project paintings

The Colossus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a gigantic statue brandishing a torch of the harbor at Rhodes. Its dedicatory inscription is said to have read, “To you, O Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Not only over the seas but also on land did they kindle the lovely torch of freedom.”

The Statue of Liberty is modeled on the idea of the Colossus.

Miss Flame, of Fire Prevention Week, 1950, in the Hanford Declassification Project archive, is revealed in several incarnations. Two earlier entries of mine show her as a masked woman in a flamboyantand glamorous gown.

Then there are these images of her in a dark dress, her face draped with a mysterious veil; images not taken in her public role but seemingly in a private shoot. One wonders at the purpose, and I am briefly reminded of the veiled woman upon the “Shape of Things to Come” Camp Hanford Float, but the float was from 1956 and would have nothing to do with Miss Flame of 1950.

As I reflected on the images, Miss Flame in her veiled form transformed into the torch-bearing Colossus or Rhodes, an association cemented by the photo of her looming large over the photographer with a lamp in the background, her identity completely cloaked. Aloof from human concerns, she became headless, a representation of the falsehood that victory is a fulfillment of heaven-directed destiny, when instead the power of possession is blind and belongs simply to those who win what becomes the final round.

Miss Flame as Madame Death

Miss Flame as...art? 1950
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0054382”
Accession Number N1D0054382
Document Number 1378-50-NEG-I
Alternate Document Number 1378-50-NEG
Title Description FIRE PREVENTION “MISS FLAME”
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s) FIRE SAFETY,HANFORD SITE,MISS FLAME
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 05-Feb-2002
Public Availability Date 14-Jun-2002

I don’t know of these were pictures of the woman in a veil were just taken for the fancy of the photographer (perhaps inspired by Magritte?) or if the veil was used in another theatrical presentation or was a part of the woman’s costume. But it occurs to me that with her cigarette she is likely intended to represent Death, not due any dangers to health, but the ever present threat of the spark.

She lights her cigarette.

Continue reading The Colossus of Hanford (declassified)

A little cheesecake with that A-Bomb


A Little Cheesecake with that A-Bomb, Declassified, 2005 tinted photo
Film poster held by Jean Nelson, from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.

Read the introduction to the Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project paintings

Don’t miss this vital film! “You can beat the A-bomb.” Free showings. Columbia High School, Feb. 19 thru 22. Get tickets for yourself and family from your supervisor today.

That’s what the promo reads. The woman smiling makes one feel hopeful about the bomb, and the movie’s title makes nuclear arms seem as manageable as a bad stain set in the porcelain of a sink.

One shake of cleanser and some elbow grease should do the job!

A review at PicPal’s reads:

Continue reading A little cheesecake with that A-Bomb

How they learned to stop worrying and loved the bomb


Hi Spot High School Dancers, Declassified
Tinted photo
Photo from the Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project

Read the introduction to the Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project paintings

Teenage angst and love and fear and wonder at a blossoming new world.

The teenage wish to stand apart, to be individual, and the desire to identify with the pack.

HI SPOT HIGH SCHOOL DANCERS, undated
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0034663”
Accession Number N1D0034663
Document Number 1972-1-NEG-B
Alternate Document Number 1972-1-NEG
Title Description HI SPOT HIGH SCHOOL DANCERS
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 04-Dec-2001
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

The Hi Spot was a high school dance club.

The mascot of the Richland high school is a bomb, the students are known as The Bombers and the emblem of the school is a mushroom cloud.

Atom imagery was prominent in Richland. Such as When you went with your girl or guy to watch a movie you were watched over by the atom.

Continue reading How they learned to stop worrying and loved the bomb