Photo Essay – Atomic Bomb Tests, 1950s.

by Amy Collier

Atomic Bomb Test –  Yucca Flat, Nevada
Photographer: Loomis Dean / May 1955

Scorched and disheveled male mannequin clad in dark business suit standing in the desert with lady mannequin in background, 7000 ft. from the 44th nuclear test explosion, a day after the blast, indicating that humans could be burnt but still alive.

Atomic Bomb Test –  Yucca Flat, Nevada
Photographer: J. R. Eyerman / April 24, 1952

Large convex mirror’s dark reflection of distant A-Bomb blast and nearby rows of folding chairs where scientists and officials observe this test while photographer with camera on tripod stands facing the ball of light from the explosion.

Atomic Bomb Test –  Yucca Flat, Nevada
Photographer: Loomis Dean / May 1955

Dummies used to gauge the effects of an A-bomb on the human body for a nuclear test explosion in the desert.

Atomic Bomb Test –  Yucca Flat, Nevada
Photographer: Loomis Dean / May 1955

A house after being destroyed by an A-bomb blast.

Atomic Bomb Test –  Yucca Flat, Nevada
Photographer: Loomis Dean / May 1955

Dummies used to gauge the effects of an A-bomb on the human body for a nuclear test explosion in the desert.

Atomic Bomb Test –  Yucca Flat, Nevada
Photographer: Loomis Dean / May 1955

Dummies used to gauge the effects of an A-bomb on the human body for a nuclear test explosion in the desert.

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Above are eerie black and white photographs of 1955 atomic bomb tests in the Nevada desert shot by LIFE magazine veteran photographer Loomis Dean (1917–2005) plus an additional image shot at an earlier bomb test in 1952 by another LIFE magazine veteran image maker J. R. Eyerman (1906–1985). Mr. Eyerman, using his engineering training to develop tools to take photographs in difficult situations, perfected an electric eye to capture the atomic bomb explosion seen above.

[ All images via LIFE photo archives / ©LIFE ]

 

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