Civil Defense Art Gallery

Civil Defense Posters


1956

1960

1955

The Serving You In Time Of Emergency poster is from 1956. The poster advertised National Civil Defense Week Sept. 9-15. At the very bottom below the large text is written Distributed as a public service by the Boy Scouts Of America. There have been claims from several sellers on eBay that this is Ronald Reagan on the poster and that Mr. Reagan was the "poster boy for Civil Defense". Interesting that those claims didn't appear on ebay until the week after Mr. Reagan had passed away. After several go-rounds with some ebay sellers about this I contacted the Reagan library and museum and talked to the media archivist there. He had had no knowledge of this and told me that Mr. Reagan was never the "poster boy" for Civil Defense. So much for it being Mr. Reagan on the poster...

The Fallout Can Reach Your Farm poster at the upper right was donated by an Emergency Management office in Michigan. I have a Rural Civil Defense training kit that included one of these posters as part of the kit. This poster is dated 1960.

The Get The Facts poster at the bottom was rescued from the floor of the Dallas Civil Defense warehouse while the warehouse was being cleaned out in 1981. The print date on this poster is 1955. An interesting note is that this is one of the few (maybe the only) civil defense poster that I have come across that shows a city being destroyed by a nuclear explosion.


Civil Defense Car Cards


1958

1959

1963

1962

1964

1965

Your Preparedness Civil Defense Car Card 1960

1960

This type of poster or car card was for display in those advertising display slots over the windows found on busses or subway/train cars. These are short wide posters that measure about ten by twenty inches in size. All of these posters except the three posters at the bottom were rescued from being thrown away during the clean-out of the Dallas Civil Defense warehouse back in 1981. The bottom car card image was sent by Brad Schnure in 2008 and is part of his collection. Thanks for the image Brad!
Click Images To See Larger


These are transparencies that go on the front of a light-up display box. The display box has a polarized film wheel that rotated in front of a circular florescent bulb. Each of these transparencies have polarized film attached to the back in certain locations to make sections of the artwork look like it's moving while the display is on. I haven't been able to find an original display box so I built my own. See the display box here. Polarized Light Display Box.

I have short small video samples of each transparency in operation. The videos are about 1Mb in size and are in AVI format. The videos aren't the greatest quality but you can see the polarized light effects well enough to get the idea of what they look like when you see them in person. Some of the polarized film is peeling and brittle due to age on some of the transparencies so they have lost a little of their effect but they still work well enough to be seriously cool.

All of these transparencies, except one, belong to local emergency management official. The only one of these transparencies that is mine is the "Are Your Community Shelters Stocked..." transparency.
Thanks to Keith Wells for allowing me to photo and video the others.

Click on each transparency to see a larger version in a new window or you can click-through the transparency gallery by clicking the arrows on each page with the larger picture.


WWII Magazine Advertisement


This World War II era magazine ad was sent to me by Rob Nichols. I don't know what magazine this came from or what the year of print is. I thought it worth putting up here even though it's not a cold war era poster. Thanks to Rob Nichols for sending it!


Royal Arillery Museum Exhibit, 2003

The Royal Artillery Museum opened a Cold War exhibit in 2003 featuring a HUGE poster printed from a scan supplied by the old Civil Defense Museum.
In 2003 the firm in charge of putting together the exhibit contacted me about the "You can protect yourself from radioactive fallout." poster. See top of page. They needed a HUGE resoltion scan of the poster for the exhibit. I had the poster scanned and mailed the CD to them. I asked if they could please send me some photos of the exhibit with the poster when it's completed and here they are. It was nice to see something of my collection being displayed in a real museum!

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