The Atom and You is a three-part film series created for the Atomic Energy Commission during the early 1950s by Paramount News. Narrated by Jackson Beck, this series was developed to publicly promote the "great peacetime applications of the atom" and to show "how atomic energy comes into your life" through the fields of science, medicine and industry.
The first reel opens with footage of an atmospheric nuclear test in the Nevada dessert with the narrator proclaiming; "In a world of international tension the first objective of America's atomic energy effort understandably must be for the common defense and security of freedom-loving people everywhere." Also shown is the giant Bevatron during construction at the AEC's Radiation Laboratory at University of California.
The second reel shows unsettling footage at the Hanford Works where experiments are being conducted with salmon and livestock. One shot shows salmon being bred in "special radioactive water" and another features sheep as they are being fed radioactive food that "give off bursts of radiant energy." Footage from all three former Manhattan-era facilities is shown as well as other research sites across the country.
Click an icon below to view a news reel: