Atomic power station and other Cold War toys

Sunday, November 20, 2011
Above is a toy nuclear reactor circa 1965 and made by Wilhelm Schröder and Co. Interestingly, it was actually a working steam engine. Its instruction manual began with the following panegyric to the wonders of the upcoming atomic age:
“My dear friend,

A new technical era has made its appearance – the era of the atomic age. We are still on the very threshold of that bewildering and exciting period and you will be fortunate enough to grow into it. No doubt you will look at all these matters with a rather dispassionate technically trained mind, contrary to the older generation and perhaps also to your own parents. They still get a bitter feeling when they hear the word ‘atom’. For them it is coupled with the idea of the ‘atomic bomb’, with death and destruction. The thought of radioactive contamination has become a real nightmare to many of us. It is no wonder that they lose sight, under such circumstances, of the actual value of this nearly inexhaustible source of energy – a source of power on which we may have to rely in a near future to a still unthought of extent. Not for destructive purposes, but exclusively for peaceful aims…”

Well, that prediction didn't quite work out. I found the link to it AHC's The Cold War Home Front: Atomic Culture. That page has many other atomic themed Cold war era toys.

I was delighted to see the atomic submarine which is pictured below. When I was but a young sprout I received one of those as a Christmas gift and it was my favorite present that year. There's nothing quite like the memory of launching a little plastic SLBM to vaporize a Rooskie city to  bring a tear to an old guy's eyes. Ah, them were the days.

Click to enlarge

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