Friday, October 9, 2009

Best. Gift. Shop. EVER!

Let me say that the National Atomic Museum is very nice indeed, particularly if you have a couple of teenage sons in tow, listening to their Grandpa talk about how you fuel a Corporal Missile. It'll be even better in 6 months or so when they have the outside display of Cool Stuff set up (although the wings are now back on their B-52).

But their gift shop is the shizzle Flippity Floppity Floop. In with the typical plastic junk and moderately clever T-Shirts, they have product for the (ahem) more discerning patron.

We got a Geiger Counter for #1 Son. Real US Gubmint Civil Defense surplus. I'd post a pic, but he's planning to, so I'll link it later. Me? I got a framed circuit board from a Cray-1 Supercomputer. Sweet.

Oh, and they have other retro Atomic Age stuff like the blackout goggles that Our Boys used to observe the detonations, along with more mundane retro stuff like vacuum tubes and slide rules.

Which brings up this (now sadly obsolete) joke that I learned back in 1974, when I got my first slide rule:
Let's see ... Three times two is 5.99 ... oh heck, just call it six.
Heh. Yes, I'm an old techie geek.

Coolest thing I saw at the museum was this, from the You Have Got To Be Kidding Me Department:

That right there is the M-338 Tactical Nuclear Recoilless Rifle. Range was a mile or two. Glad it's recoilless, or the gun crew might get hurt or something.


Bob said...

RADM. Daniel V. Gallery in one of his books (Cap'n Fatso, perhaps) mentioned the unsuccessful Atomic Hand Grenade, which would destroy an area 100 yards in diameter; unfortunately the testers could only manage to throw it about 25 yards.

TOTWTYTR said...

Is that M-338 on the C&R list?

Eseell said...

Davy! Davy Crockett!

I love that museum, I have a photo of myself hugging one of the nuclear artillery shells.

scotaku said...


I inherited two slide rules, which I tried to learn to use but then just put in a drawer somewhere. One day I will sell them on eBay for millions.

Borepatch said...

Bob, heh.

TOTWTYTR, I think that the ATF classifies it as a "Destructive Device" ...

Eseell, that's the one. The museum is really good.

Scotaku, always carry a spare!