Back to Civil Defense Museum Main
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fallout Shelter Photographs
The photos in this section were taken by USACE photographers during 1967 and May 1968 in four states, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. These four states were located in what was then Civil Defense Region 6 (this region is now known as FEMA Region 7). These photos are great documentation of the Fallout Shelter Program at it's height. I believe that these images really convey the size and scope of the Fallout Shelter program. While viewing these photos try to imagine the effort it must have taken to survey, mark and stock just the shelters documented in these photos. Then imagine what it took to do this with thousands of shelters all across the United States. These photos were saved from being thrown away by Bob Franke who works for FEMA. He loaned me the photos in late 2000 so I could scan them for the site. What a fantastic find! Thanks Bob! And thanks to the USACE for granting permission to use the photos on the site.
Just click on the area of the image, or links at left to view the associated pages of photos.
Some Notes On These Photos
The orginal photos in this series were all 8 inch by 10 inch black and white prints. There were 83 images in the set that Mr. Franke sent me back in 2000. All the images in this USACE section were scanned from these prints. These were some of the first photos I ever scanned so I didn't know to scan them at a high resolution. At least I did save them as TIF. files with no compression. The images on these pages are about half the size of my original scans. In September of 2014 I rebuilt this section with larger image sizes and I put up all of the photos in the set. When I fist put this section together back in 2000 I orginally left some of the photos out because of web space limits but now the whole set is up.
The captions on each photo in this section are all the original captions put there by the U.S. Army Corps or Engineers. I copied all the captions and photo numbers while scanning them back in 2000. I note this at the top of each page in this section. Any other comments I have added are in italics.
One thing that is repeated throughout the captions is the term "Dual Use." The term Dual Use was often used to promote the inclusion of fallout shelter space in building design. It obviously means that the areas of a building designated as fallout shelter space, for use in an emergency situation, would also be used in regular, non-emergency, day to day use of the building. Of course areas full of shelter supplies wouldn't be exactly "dual use" areas.
One of the things that is very interesting to see, in this series of photos, is the extra effort some of the businesses went to involving civil defense. The Boeing plant in Wichita, Kansas put up emergency equipment stations in the plant tunnels. If you look closely at some of the Boeing photos you can see that the shelter signs are were company made shelter signs as well. Robert's Dairy in Omaha, Nebraska went all-out with civil defense preparations which included company stocked shelters and a specially built cattle fallout shelter at their dairy farm near Elkhorn, Nebraska. I have also included a pdf file copy of a report from a shelter experiment that was conducted involving cattle at the Robert's dairy farm.