At the Philip Morris Booth inside the Nuclear Congress & International Atomic Exposition, the attendants went about their deadly business with cheer. On the convention floor in Public Hall, the cigarette manufacturer’s atomic-powered machine puffed out death sticks. Standing by in a pillbox hat was the iconic Johnny Philip Morris, an actor and the company mascot, who stood at less than four feet tall and wondered at the modern marvel of lung-polluting, radiation-dosing efficiency before him.
Another of the atomic energy show’s 160 exhibits included an interactive showcase of gamma ray guns, which two Pepper Pike teenagers pointed at a Geiger counter until its relays started clicking and the attached “world’s largest” General Electric light bulb lit up. Elsewhere on the show floor, the Brush Beryllium company showed off its toxic wares, as did the Iron Lung Ventilator corporation. In The Plain Dealer, exhibition organizers made sure to note Cleveland’s special place in nuclear history: Case Western Reserve University played host to the Michelson-Morley experiment in 1887, from which a line can be drawn to Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity.
The show, which was held in conjunction with the Nuclear Engineering and Science Congress, attracted almost 19,000 attendees. More than 3,000 were high school and college students. All no doubt left with a healthy, youthful glow.