MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Iconic photos of a changing city, and commentary on our Collections & Exhibitions from the crew at

Civil Defense During the Cold War

LOOK 11781 "Civil Defense - Atomic Bomb First Aid"

John Vachon for Look Magazine. The Durham family rehearses what it will do if an atomic bomb blasts their neighborhood, 1951.

In May 2017, the Museum’s Manuscripts and Ephemera collection accessioned a 1950s-era Civil Defense kit that was compiled during the Cold War by Mr. Ernest Thomsen, then a resident of Hollis, Queens. Given the current political climate, I took the kit out to discover how the nuclear threat was perceived at the time that Mr. Thomsen served as a Supervisor of the Building Control United of the Office of Civil Defense.

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This entry was posted on September 12, 2017 by in Manuscripts and Ephemera, Photography Collection.

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