Citizens' Radiological Survey Meter CD V-727 (ca. 1962)

At the height of the cold war during the Cuban missile crisis, the Victoreen Instrument Company was in the midst of a huge production run of CD V-720 ion chambers for the Office of Civil Defense and it was very easy for them to market a slightly modified version to the public. That modified gamma-only version of the CD V-720 was known as the Victoreen  Fallout Detection Meter.  Victoreen also manufactured what it called the Citizens Radiological Survey Meter, an instrument that they designated the CD V-727.  An example of the latter, a rare item indeed, is shown here. The Citizens Meter is unlike any civil defense meter approved by the OCD in that it employed a logarithmic scale. The fact that it didn't have multiple range settings gave it the simplicity of operation desired in an instrument that would be used by untrained citizens.

Quoting the 727's  Instruction and Maintenance Manual:  

“In a National emergency the CD V -727 ratemeter could help you make decisions about when to seek shelter, actions that might be taken while inside a shelter, and when to leave a shelter to carry out certain essential tasks.” 

"Following a nuclear attack, the CD V-727 could provide you with important information. If this information is applied hurriedly and without thought of possible consequences, it could be worse than total ignorance of the danger you face. But if it is used carefully and intelligently, it could save your life. "

 

Paul Perkins, from whom this instrument was obtained, noted that the dimple on the side of the bottom of the case suggested that the latter was built for a CD V-700. He also noted that the markings on the inside of the top suggested that the CD V-727 was a modified CD V-720. 

Unlike the CD V-720, this "Citizens Meter" has no beta detection capability, nor does it employ three ranges. That the user only has to note the reading on the meter without having to worry about which range setting they are on, makes it easier to use by an untrained individual.

Detector:   ion chamber

Range:   logarithmic:    0 – 100 R/h

Audio: none

Size:  8.5"  x  4.5"  x 6"

Batteries:    two 1.5 volt D cells

References

Victoreen Instrument Co. Instruction and Maintenance Manual for Personal Radiological Survey Meter CD V-727. 1962.  This manual can be downloaded from the Museum Library.

Museum Directory        Civil Defense

Last updated: 05/24/11
Copyright 1999, Oak Ridge Associated Universities