Thursday, September 4, 2014

September 1961 – Fallout Shelters Part 2

Illustration courtesy of the book Bomboozled: How the U.S. Government Misled Itself
and Its People Into Believing They Could Survive a Nuclear Attack (2011)
Here's the second article about fallout shelters that ran in the Journal in September 1961. This one profiles Price Brothers Co., an Amherst firm that took advantage of the local concern about nuclear attack to announce that they were manufacturing the shelters for the general public.

The article ran in the Journal on September 23, 1961.


Amherst Firm Is Making Family Fallout Shelters

NUCLEAR SHELTER – Harry Brecha, office manager of Price 
Brothers Co. at its Amherst location, demonstrates the size of 
an eight-door section of concrete steel-reinforced drainage 
pipe. Its walls are nine inches thick. Individuals have been 
buying such sections and converting them into bomb shelters. 
Now the company has announced that it is manufacturing 
and selling bomb shelters, using its own pipe in the fabrication. 
This section of pipe sells for $500 and is the largest size pipe 
made at the Amherst location.
AMHERST – The people of Amherst and vicinity who wish, may now order a bomb shelter without leaving the area.

The Price Brothers Co., manufacturer of concrete pipe, who located one of its plants in Amherst three years ago, has announced that it is now manufacturing fallout shelters for the use of the general public.

Concrete pipe made by Price Brothers is used in the manufacture of the shelters which are being designed and fabricated for Price Brothers by Lifemaster, Inc. of Columbus, O. Lifemaster will also distribute the shelters in Ohio for Price Brothers.

Here and there an individual may be found who has started to build or is building a shelter for himself and his family. The Price Brothers Co. was awakened to this fact by the purchase of large sections of concrete pipe by individuals in the Cleveland area.

The people were buying sections of pipe eight feet in diameter and converting them into nuclear bomb shelters by sinking them into the ground and adding detail work in the form of floors, ceilings, entranceways, bunks, storage space, etc.

Harry Brecha, office manager at the Amherst office of Price Brothers, said that no sales of prefabricated bomb shelters had been made so far from the Amherst location but that many inquiries were being received.

A typical shelter, Brecha said, has an eight-foor inside diameter, is eight feet high, contains 402 cubic feet of air space and has more than 50 square feet of usable floor space.

The entranceway is 30 inches in diameter and has a full-length ladder for fast, easy ground-level entrance and exit. On the top of the shelter are two feet of dirt, covering a nine-inch thick radiation shield.

The unit is equipped with a hand-operated blower system for replacing stale air with fresh by means of exhaust and air intake vents.

Brecha pointed out, however, that fallout shelters can be as elaborate as the owner wishes and that many different types are available.

That the Federal Government of the United States is interested in fallout shelters is indicated by FHA law which provides complete financing assistance to purchase, install and equip the shelter.

The Ohio State Legislature has also shown that it approves the shelters. In 1957 the Assembly provided tax exemption by passing an act providing that no burden of state or local taxes shall be incurred "as a consequence of measures taken for the better protection of persons and property against enemy action."

Leo A. Hoegh, director of the Office of Mobilization, Civil Defense, stated: "In the event of nuclear attack on our country, fallout shelters offer the best, single, non-military defense measure for the protection of the greatest number of people."

Christian A. Herter, former secretary of state said recently, "A capacity to retaliate will be reinforced by an effective capacity to survive. And only thus can our defense posture serve as a convincing deterrent."

Not many Americans, who have breathed free air all their lives, are in a hurry to spend money so that they can burrow into the ground. However the necessity of the times may soon make the fallout shelter as commonplace to the landscape as the cyclone cellars of the Midwest region of the United States.

Price Brothers Company was acquired by Hanson Pipe & Precast in March 2007 according to this article.


-Alan D Hopewell said...

I remember the U.S. map they had in our first grade classroom, with red circles showing all the likely nuclear strike sites; the NorthCoast was solid red.

Didn't sleep well for a bit.

Dan Brady said...

I recently received an email from Craig Green of the website in connection with my post above about fallout shelters.

Craig wrote, "I run a survival and outdoors blog and I recently wrote an article with my buddy Rich on how to survive a nuclear attack."

"I thought it would make a great addition to your post here. I'm not a doomsday guy and I don't believe in living in fear, but it's useful (and in a perverse kind of way, fascinating) information."

I think so too. Here is the link to Craig's article: