Apr 16 2012: Twenty-Six Advertising Plates From Atomics Magazine (Leonard Hill Technical Publications, 1956)

Following yesterday’s gallery of photographs from Atomics magazine in 1956, perhaps this gathering of advertisements puts a little more context into the way that technocratic optimism was always (something we’ve seen in earlier posts on the Festival of Britain brochure of 1951) entangled with money. Here, we find manufacturers of components and isotopes, solutions to radiation exposure and the firms touting for big construction contracts, all pitching their wares to the elite of this heavily subsidised and hugely lucrative new industry. Wherever advertising appears, it seems, we need to be aware that the publication needs to ensure these paymasters are not offended by the content. In this case, there’s no real suggestion of the problems that would grow endemic in the nuclear power industry from the 1970s onwards, perhaps because if they were not suspected at the time, that may have been because no-one was motivated to look carefully at the evidence and the possible scenarios. With digital firmly established as our latest panacea, it’s a point that seems always worth keeping in mind, even as the potential and actual gains are clear enough.

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