The Soviet Union’s detonation of its first atomic bomb on August 29, 1949, thrust the United States into a new and more precarious era. Just four years after celebrating victory in World War II as the only nation with an atomic bomb, Americans now found themselves confronting the probability of an atomic war.
Over the next decade, the government, through the newly formed Federal Civil Defense Administration, issued posters, pamphlets, and related materials; offered training courses; sponsored civil defense conferences; and worked in cooperation with state and local civil defense entities as well as the private sector to prepare men, women, and children for the day “the bomb” might fall.
Atomic Alert!: Confronting “The Bomb” in the New Atomic Age explores the government’s efforts to educate Americans about what to do before an atomic attack; how to react to a sudden, blinding flash; and what action to take in the aftermath of an atomic blast.
Visitors to Atomic Alert! will:
Featuring artifacts and interpretation from Michael Scheibach, Ph.D., independent scholar and author, Atomic Alert! offers a unique opportunity to revisit the early atomic age when the world was divided between two atomic-armed adversaries: the United States and the Soviet Union.
Atomic Alert! features a large interactive called “When the Bomb Falls,” which allows visitors to explore the impact of a nuclear blast on a geographic area. From the innermost circle, where survival is near impossible, to the outer edges of the blast radius, where the immediate impact is less severe but the threat of radiation from fallout remains. Featuring a large sculptural a-bomb, “When the Bomb Falls” draws visitors closer, all while exploring the dangers of proximity to an atomic explosion.
"Partners in Defense" unit
"On the Alert" unit
Atomic Alert! features posters, brochures, stand-up displays, and other educational material produced by the Federal Civil Defense Administration to prepare everyday Americans for the possibility of nuclear war. Hand-picked from the extensive collection of scholar Michael Scheibach, the artifacts evoke what life was like for Americans at the dawn of the Atomic Age.
Atomic Alert features a touchscreen kiosk featuring vintage FCDA educational titles, including "Duck & Cover" starring Bert the Turtle!
We deliver and install the exhibit, while you sit back and watch! It only takes a few hours to setup.
We dare you to find a traveling exhibit of this scale that takes less of your staff’s precious time!Delivery & Installation Process
The Atomic Alert exhibit comes with a growing list of resources to help you do your job.
Cost starts at $120 / day, with daily rate declining for longer bookings.
You set the schedule. Dates must be contiguous. Contact us for a quote.
Tour begins October 1, 2019
Mar 18 - May 6, 2020 - Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, Massachusetts •
Mar 15 - Jun 18, 2021 - Historical Society of Clay County, Moorhead, Minnesota ••
Jul 17 - Oct 15, 2020 - Richland, Washington
Sep 1 - Dec 1, 2021 - Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Michael Scheibach, Ph.D., curator of Atomic Alert!: Confronting “The Bomb” in the New Atomic Age, is an independent scholar specializing in the history of the early Cold War from 1945 through the 1960s. Dr. Scheibach is also a collector of artifacts and is the author of Atomic Narratives and American Youth: Coming of Age with the Atom, 1945-1955; Protecting the Home Front; In Case Atom Bombs Fall; Atomics in the Classroom; Alert America.Schedule a Presentation
Honorarium $400 + Travel Expenses
A verbal commitment gets you started (we put the PENDING notification on the calendar), but we require a deposit and a signed hosting agreement to lock it in for sure. If you’re thinking about reserving a date, let us know and we’ll hold it for you until you can get approval for payment.
We deliver it and set it up for you!
We like to recognize those that support our projects from the very beginning. So for the first 5 institutions that book the exhibit, we acknowledge their support by including them in the exhibit credits. It’s a small way of showing our gratitude for those that help to bring these exhibits to life!
Thanks to the following institutions for being willing to support this project from the very beginning. We couldn’t have done it without you!
You certainly don’t have to be a museum to host the exhibit, or even a non-profit. So long as you have the space and meet the basic security requirements, you can be a valid host. Please send us a message letting us know your situation and we’ll get the process started!
That’s awesome. We’re glad you like what you see. We post a lot of in-progress photos on Facebook, so like us there to see what’s going on. Also, we’d love it if you would join our mailing list. We only send out the good stuff through there–we’re not fans of excess email. Just fill out this form and you’ll be in!