Oct 112015

In all my running around taking photos of nuclear weapons, one shot I have somehow failed to get is a good, clear dead-on front view of the thing (I took several straight on front view shots of the Fat Man at the atomic weapons museum in Albuquerque… and every last one was badly out of focus). I need this for a single, simple reason: working out just where the bolts holding the nose and tail shells are. You’d think they’d be evenly spaced around the circumference, but they’re not.

If anyone happens to be near one of the numerous display units littering the countryside, or happens to have a clear head-on photo that shows the bolts clearly, I’d be greatly appreciative.

These bolts (scribble-circled):

fat man 1

This here is the closest I have to a head-on clear shot, and it’s not nearly head-on nor clear enough to nail down the angular locations of those bolts:

fat man 2

 Posted by at 8:45 am
  • Oscar_Femur

    There are some pictures and drawings in Hansen’s U.S. Nuclear Weapons I could scan and send you. What email address should I use?

    • Scottlowther

      Got those, thanks.

  • Peter Hanely

    As best I can make out in those pictures the bolts are an even 36 degrees apart.

    • Scottlowther

      They are a little uneven, in fact.

      • Peter Hanely

        Deliberately uneven, or random variations from manual placement?

        • Scottlowther

          Deliberate. If you’ve ever seen an original Fat Man or Little Boy casing, they look like they were knocked together down at the blacksmiths shop. But the interiors of the bombs look like something Starfleet would have. And the interior of the Fat Man – basically the Gadget – has mating features that are precisely located. The bolts connecting the nose and the tail of the outer shells pass through big solid blocks on the outer surface of the duralumin sphere. The sphere itself is made of segments that are *not* of a consistent size.

    • Paul451

      They’re not even left/right symmetrical.

  • John Nowak

    Man, what awful luck. I was just in Albuquerque last week. I have some pictures of the Fat Man, but not head on.

  • Joe Ryan

    I was poking around the web looking for what I thought it was that you were after but the link turned out to be to your blueprints you sold


    • Scottlowther

      I’m revising the diagrams. I really need to get back to the ANED series.

  • Jason Miller

    The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos has one, but they were closed today for Columbus Day (it figures, they close the museum on the holiday when people are free to go to it). If you’re still looking for a source on this I can try again this coming Friday.

    • Scottlowther

      That would be appreciated, thanks. What I’d *really* like would be head-on shots of the Gadget at the museum in Albuquerque, but when I was there getting that view was virtually impossible due to stuff being in the way.