JF Ptak Science Books Post 2580
I have been collecting images of destroyed Manhattan since this blog was started, and at this point there must be two dozen pre-1965 images. Mostly they are located in the Atomic/Nuclear Weapons series, as well as A History of Blank, Empty, and Missing Things, and lastly in the History of Holes series, all of which are browsable in the right-hand "categories" column.
Today I'll add two very strong Cold War images that leave no bit of interpretation to chance. The first is a cover story for a four-issue short-lived comic called Atomic War, which was published in 1952 to 1953. There is an enormous amount of red-baiting--no surprise given the period--and we find the Soviets initiating several varieties of preemptive strikes, including one in West Berlin in 1945 (the Soviets didn't get the bomb until 1949). In any event it is a very strong push to patriotism and Red-hatred aimed of course at kids. No doubt an 11-year-old seeing this cover at Christmas time 1952 would remember it.
[Source: http://falloutshelternyc.blogspot.com/2011_02_01_archive.html. Another image source with some history: Wiki http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Atomic_War!]
The second piece is another example of indelible impression possibilities. a very disturbing cover showing the effects of a nuclear attack on Manhattan, which turns pretty much all of midtown into a hole--a hole that was starting to fill up with the Hudson River:
That's pretty strong stuff, again the product of high-octane Red-Scare-Megafear.
I don't know what the story is with the rocket/missile, but I'm guessing that it isn't good.
There have been plenty of Manhattans destroyed in illustration, but it is infrequent that there is nothing left of the city except for a hole. The other instance of smoke-in-a-hole-Manhattan that I can think of lacks the smoke, and depicts a new anti-gravity Manhattan floating above its old terrestrial base, now left a hole.
Atomic War full text via Internet Archive:
- Issue #1 https://archive.org/details/atomic-war-01
- Issue #3: https://archive.org/stream/atomic-war-02/Atomic_War_02_1952_12#page/n1/mode/2up
- Issue #4: https://archive.org/details/atomic-war-04