Your Car Is Your Information Center (1955)


I scanned a copy of 4 Wheels to Survival, but then stumbled on a better copy online at Ohiolink.

4 Wheels is fascinating on a number of levels. First, the orange-red clip art contributes to the upbeat, persuasive, rational tone of the civil defense and preparedness message (as if there is anything rational about nuclear war and its aftermath). Secondly, the 1950s cult of the auto shines through in this four page pamphlet. The car, 4 Wheels explains, is a multipurpose vehicle in case of an atomic attack.

Evidently there are quite a few “bonuses” to having access to a car in case of a blast. A car…

_ helps you move away from danger
_ can be your shopping center
_ helps shelter you
_ you can live sleep, eat in it
_ is your information center via your car radio & CONELRAD

Also mentioned in 4 Wheels is “Grandma’s Pantry Program.” This program is outlined in a rare 1958 Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization doc titled Grandma’s Pantry Belongs in Your Kitchen: Newsletter By For and About Women in Civil Defense. I’ve never seen this doc in the gov pubs stacks, but bless Jeff’s Virtual Atomic Museum for placing it online in all its Cold War black and white funkiness.