United States issue Radiac Detector dosimeter DT-60/PD, with instructions

Place North & Central America: United States of America
Accession Number REL42184
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Bakelite, Glass, Paper
Maker Unknown
Place made United States of America
Date made c 1954 -1957
Conflict Period 1950-1959

Round black Bakelite case with a fitting at the top to hold a suspension cord. The back is impressed 'DT-60/PD USN-NO bst - 64235-CBI SERIAL NUMBER 2669321'. The case contains a strip of radiophotoluminescent glass which emits luminescent light after exposure to X or Gamma radiation. Any radiation levels are then read by a Radiac Computer-Indicator CP-95 (not present).

Accompanying the Detector is a printed paper sheet, NAVSHIPS 91609 (A), illustrating the outer and inner case, describing its use and purpose, technical specifications, maintenance and care instructions, and associated equipment and instruction book. Manufacturer's and contractors supplying the equipment are also listed: Corning Glass works, Corning, New York; Polaroid Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Bausch & Lomb Optical Co, Rochester, New York; and Peneberthy Instrument Co, Seattle, Washington. It would appear from the 'NObsr' numbers listed besides these names that Corning Glass Works may have made at least part of this Detector in 1954.

A further folding card with the Detector, dated 1957, and titled 'Department of Army Training Aid 3-2' gives instructions for 'THINGS TO DO UNDER ATOMIC BIOLOGICAL OR CHEMICAL ATTACK' and notes that a copy of the card was to be issued to each man in the US Army.

History / Summary

Material like the items shown here were routinely issued to United States defence personnel in the 1950s, during the height of fears about potential nuclear, chemical and biological attacks by Communist forces led by the Soviet Union.

This period, extending from 1947 to the early 1990s, was known as the Cold War. Both the Western allies, led by the US, and Soviet bloc, led the Russians, engaged in a nuclear arms race, the development of secret weapons and agents, and in a wide ranging propaganda war.