1955. Houston, Texas. The Christmas family volunteers for a 3-day in the nuclear bunker test


Defense tests in the H-bomb age have been designed to prove force of ex. plosives and permanence of buildings. In Houston, Texas, civil defense workers decided to test the resilience of people. As part of the last nationwide exercise, they picked the family of John Christmas, a machinist, to spend three days in a steel-and-concrete shelter. Equipped with bottled water, food, cots, games and a chemical toilet, the family found humidity one of its big problems. With temperature in the 80s and humidity rising to 96, they moved about as little as possible. When Mrs. Christmas lighted the canned heat stove, her husband manned a hand air pump to keep the damp air tolerable. Another big problem was boredom; son Stanley found things so dull underground that he played both sides of a chess game.


images and info provided by the LIFE Magazine / LIFE Magazine International / LIFE Magazine Atlantic ARCHIVE from the Zetu Harrys Collection


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