Vintage Nuclear Safety Posters Would Not Comfort My Irradiated Ass

By David Wharton | 7 years ago

SurveyorsOne of the things I loved most about Bethesda’s Fallout 3 was the use of the kitschy, overly cheerful retro designs that popped up throughout the Wasteland, best exemplified by the grinning, thumbs-up delivering Vault Boy. He always seemed like he’d have your back no matter what, whether you were attempting to deactivate a nuclear warhead in the middle of a ramshackle town, or hauling ass to try and escape a heavily armored radioactive green monster wielding a mini-gun. It’s clear that the Fallout franchise designers did their homework in the real world to help lend their fictional one a sense of verisimilitude, because these nuclear safety posters would have been right at home adorning the walls of Vault 101.


The helpful suggestions provided by these vintage posters from the Oak Ridge Health Physics Instrumentation Museum Collection aren’t terribly comforting. They even seem a bit disingenuous since none of them have a guy huddled in the corner puking blood while his hair lies in matted clumps around him. I’m not saying we needed to panic the workers, but maybe just the odd strong inference that these things weren’t just around because the supervisors didn’t like seeing bare walls.


Just remember, radiation need not be feared, only respected. Just like Batman. Unless you’re a criminal. Okay, this metaphor is decaying rapidly.


Another thing that should be respected and/or feared? Nuclear gremlins welding death rays, apparently. (That one’s via Y12.)


And that one would be a lot less unsettling if it wasn’t for the fact that the worker appears to have four freaking eyes, and he ain’t wearing glasses.


I kind of love that this one took the “you might inadvertently kill your entire family” to a ridiculous extreme just because they wanted to riff on the old familiar proverb. I am a little disappointed that Godzilla doesn’t put in a single appearance, though.