Project Gnome

American Monuments


Nuclear Test site, Project Gnome, New Mexico

Nuclear Test site, Project Gnome, New Mexico

 

In addition to our Strangelove Project, we collect vintage photographs of thermonuclear explosions, missiles and the social lunacy around them.

Project Gnome. Vintage Wire Photo American Photographs - P.W.VOIGT PHOTOGRAPHY - INSTITUTE FOR THE HARMONIOUS DEVELOPMENT OF ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY

Gnome Underground Cavity 
Vintage silver gelatin print. 8×10 inch
IHDAP Strangelove Collection

Therefore while traveling around the New Mexico area, we naturally had to visit the lovely Loving village and the nearby explosion site of the Gnome Project, one of our favorite atomic tests. Gnome was part of the Plowshare Program, which developed techniques to use nuclear explosives for peaceful construction purposes.

It was hoped that the “friendly atom” would aid in mining, widen the Panama canal, melt the polar ice caps or, in the case of Gnome, “vaporize salt deposits to study the possibility of converting the heat produced by a nuclear explosion into steam for the production of electric power.”

Project Gnome - American Photographs - P.W.VOIGT PHOTOGRAPHY - INSTITUTE FOR THE HARMONIOUS DEVELOPMENT OF ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY

Atomic Test Site, Project Gnome, New Mexico

The nuclear device was placed 361 meters underground at the end of a 340 meters tunnel that was supposed to self-seal upon detonation. It was detonated on 10 December 1961.
It worked, well partially. The thermonuclear blast produced steam. Some of it even escaped from the sealed shaft. Unfortunately and surprisingly, the released steam was radioactive.
The detonation created a cavity 20 meters wide and 50 meters high with a floor of melted rock and salt, which trapped most of the radiation.
Six months later, a new shaft was drilled to enter the Gnome Cavity. The temperature inside the cavity was still around 60 °C.
Inside, they found stalactites made of melted salt and walls covered in multiple shades of blue, green, and violet salt.

 

How we learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. An educational drive to the Gnome explosion site.

 


 

The Strangelove Collection at Noorderlicht Photofestival 2017 Thumbnail

The Strangelove Collection at Noorderlicht Photofestival 2017

Strangelove Collection

The Strangelove Collection focuses on original vintage photographs of nuclear research, the development of the atomic bomb and early rocketry in the U.S. 

Daniel Stier - Ways of knowing

Friends of the institute

Daniel Stier – Ways of Knowing

Institutional Recommendation

Daniel Stier – Ways of Knowing. A curious outsiders view into the world of science.

Texas´s customs and beliefs Thumbnail

Texas´s customs and beliefs

American Monuments

A brief visit to the Creation Evidence Museum in Texas.
Quite a charming museum with very friendly staff and it definitly will give you an extended view of all pseudoscientific branches of creationism…Continue Reading

Frederik Petersen – Wax Rubber Skin Thumbnail

Friends of the institute

Frederik Petersen – Wax Rubber Skin

Institutional Recommendation

Frederik Petersen interest is in naturalistic representations of reality such as wax figures and landscape tableaux in natural history museums and medical collections. He calls this project Wax Rubber Skin.

Project Gnome Thumbnail

Project Gnome

American Monuments

Visiting the lovely Loving village and the nearby explosion site of the Gnome Project

Sacred photograms Thumbnail

Sacred photograms

Field Report

Sacred Photograms. Remains of a orthodox church in the basement of a Renaissance castle after a devastating fire.

Atomic Burger Thumbnail

Atomic Burger

American Monuments

Burger joint and intercontinental nuclear missile, Georgia