Thursday, April 10, 2014

Celebrating Science: Atomic Prints

Celebrating science became a fad in the early fifties with "atomic design,"

adopting the atomic diagram with all those protons, neutrons
and electrons floating around in neat, elliptical orbits.

Vintage dress

Vintage radio
Was it a starburst or a sunburst?

Franciscan Starburst pattern

and fabric tablecloth to go with it.


It's hard to understand the charm of atomic bombs.

Atomic Fire Ball gum
complete with mushroom cloud

But those of us who grew up hoping a wobbly desk
would protect us from the inevitable Cold War attack
recall how the images permeated the culture.

Vintage barkcloth

Weird Science indeed.

 I bet these pieces of barkcloth are reproductions. They are almost too hip to be true.

There really isn't that much atomic imagery on fabric from the fifties but the word "Atomic" is now used to describe any of the abstract modern prints---
any high-style fifties design.

Atomic Ranch magazine


  1. have always loved the Franciscan starburst pattern and if I were a few pounds lighter, would definitely wear that dress

  2. Ooh, can we have a reprint of these......please??!!

  3. Ah yes, the days of 'duck and cover' I remember them well! I think we still have a few of those Fransican plates at our family cabin, the place where all dated styles go to rest! I love all your blogs but especially this one on account of the nostalgia! Thanks so much! Claire W.