Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Ready for the bomb

Ready for the bomb

1959: Mrs. W.E. Hall Jr. of San Marino checks supplies in her family’s bomb shelter.

In the late 1950s, Los Angeles-area residents were getting prepared for nuclear war by building bomb shelters in their backyards.

“There are many types and sizes, but all of the shelters are for one purpose — protecting the family in case of atomic emergency,” the Los Angeles Times said on March 10, 1959.

For example, The Times noted, the W.E. Hall Jr. family of San Marino had planted a quonset hut-like shelter 9 feet underground in their backyard garden. The shelter was 14 feet wide and made of corrugated steel. Occupants entered via steel ladder rungs set in a concrete-lined tube.

Some families with bomb shelters didn’t want publicity, the article by Norma H. Goodhue said.

“Some owners fear a bit of chiding while others are afraid that if their preparedness is known to others they might be crowded out when or if an emergency arises,” the article said.


1 Comment

  1. February 18, 2016, 9:35 am

    This is a very interesting picture. I think it is wonderful.

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.


Required, will not be published

Browse All Photos »