Atomic Goggles (ca. 1950)

These goggles were sold by the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (formerly the National Atomic Museum) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The plaque refers to Operation Greenhouse and it has a photograph of people in beach chairs at the officer's club on Parry Island observing Test Dog, the first of the atomic tests comprising Operation Greenhouse. It is a neat photo, and that's probably why it was used on the plaque. However, its unlikely that these goggles can be traced to any specific atomic test.

Even with the goggles, you would not want to stare directly at the explosion. They offered only limited protection.

One thing, not obvious in the above photos, is that there is a strip of cloth tape across the top of the goggles with the name "RAMSAY" on it.  It is somewhat possible, therefore, that these goggles were used by Norman F. Ramsey who won the Noble prize in physics in 1989. Ramsey played a number of important roles in the development of the atomic bomb, e.g., he served as a group leader at Los Alamos during WWII. Yes, the goggles spell it "AY" and not "EY," but it is common to misspell names (I did it the first time I wrote this description).

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Last updated: 04/02/10
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