National Museum of Nuclear Science and History explores “atomic” culture

September 29, 2023, 12:06PMNuclear News
Comic books and cartoon characters began to be used to provide information and propaganda about nuclear weapons and energy in the 1940s. Items in the exhibition include True Comics #47 (1946), Bert the Turtle Says Duck and Cover (1951), The Mighty Atom, Starring Reddy Kilowatt (1959), and The H-Bomb and You (1955). (Photo: National Museum of Nuclear Science and History)

For many of us, the toys of our childhood leave indelible marks on our consciousness, affecting our long-term perceptions and attitudes about certain things. Hot Wheels may inspire a lifelong fascination with fast, flashy automobiles, while Barbies might shape ideas about beauty and self-­image. For the generation who grew up during the Atomic Age—the post–World War II era from roughly the mid-1940s to the early 1960s—the toys, games, and entertainment of their childhoods might have included things like atomic pistols, atomic trains, rings with tiny amounts of radioactive elements, and comic books, puzzles, and music about nuclear weapons.

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