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> I'm seeking basic info on museums/libraries in Albuquerque,
> Santa Fe, or Los Alamos, for a vacation daytrip in mid-May.

The National Atomic Museum is at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque.
They have static displays of various devices and weapons
systems, including some aircraft.  Neat place.  It appears
to be run by volunteers, so the hours are a bit truncated -- 
call ahead.

Los Alamos National Laboratory runs the Bradbury Science Museum,
an excellent place with a fairly high audience level (by charter).
However, last I heard, everything was in crates while they waited
for their new building to be opened.  It might be up and running
by now, though.

Both places welcome the public.  Directory information for any
place in NM is (505) 555-1212.  

I don't know if Sandia National Laboratory (Albuquerque) or White
Sands Missile Range (about 4 hours to the south) has anything.
There's a space museum in Alamogordo (5 hours southeast).

Since people often ask:  Trinity Site is specifically not open
to the public except in an escorted tour on the anniversary.

The National Atomic Museum is in Albuquerque, and as you surmise it is
located at Kirtland Air Force Base.  Depending on which runway is in use at
ABQ, when you land you may be able to see the Museum's BUFF, Minuteman, etc.,
off to the north.  To get there, go through the gate on Gibson (you may be
stopped and have to explain that you're going to the museum) and simply
follow the signs; after a quarter of a mile or so, you turn right, and that
road takes you straight to the museum.  This museum is basically a history of
the nuclear-weapons program, with various artifacts inside (when you see the
Mk.11(?) bomb you'll blink a time or two...) and warbirds outside, the latter
not in the best state of repair.  There is a small dollop of peaceful-atom
propaganda and a small research library usable by appointment only.  If memory
serves, hours are 10 to 4:30, but I'm not sure about that.

In Los Alamos can be found the Bradbury Science Museum, which just this month
moved into a new building in Los Alamos proper after being at Los Alamos
National Laboratory's main site for many years.  It is hard *not* to find this
museum; drive into town on US 502 from Pojoaque and Santa Fe, turn right on
Central and proceed to the museum (it's well marked).  This is not a military
museum _per se_, although it does have such artifacts as an air-launched
cruise missile and the obligatory Little Boy and Fat Man casings.  (I've been
trying to get them to accept a mockup of the front end of an ex-Soviet SS-20
transporter/erector that was used in R&D for the INF treaty, since I "own"
this thing and it's not in use at the moment, but they don't have enough room
for it.)  Most of the displays involve LANL research efforts, many having to
do with the weapons program, but many others being non-weapons stuff.  Hours
are basically working hours, 9 to 5:30 if I remember correctly.  The main
LANL library is open to the public (excluding the classified report section,
obviously!) from 8 to 4:30, but it is a working scientific library rather
than a military-history kind of place.  The town's public library, which is 
just a block west (toward the mountains) of the Bradbury, may actually have
more accessible stuff for the military-history buff than the LANL library
does, and the bookstore at the Bradbury has interesting things in this vein

>Since people often ask:  Trinity Site is specifically not open
>to the public except in an escorted tour on the anniversary.

Not quite right-  The Trinity site (located about 40 miles from here)
is open on the first Saturday of April and on the first Saturday of
October every year.  The local papers publish notices whenever
the site is open to the public.  I made the trip last fall.  

You can enter from the north (off of NM 380.) If you come in this way, 
you have to check in at the gate, and follow the MP's directions as you 
drive the seventeen miles to the site.  You can also enter from the southern 
end of the range, but only if you travel in an escorted convoy.  
Once you get there, you park in a lot and go for a walk-  the crater
is a couple of hundred yards across, surrounded by a fence.  You can
see the remains of the base of the tower, and a small section of 
ground in the crater that has been left undisturbed.  However, the
rest of the crater was scraped clean of trinitite and covered with a 
layer of dirt, so there isn't much to see.  My main impression was
that the device had surprisingly little impact-  the crater was only
a few hundred yards across, and the site is in the middle of 
nowhere- you can see mountains that are 30 miles or more in the 
distance.  It's an amazingly big place.  
While you're at the site you can also take a tour of the ranch house
where the device was assembled.  There is a collection of photographs
and other memorabilia.  

: Not to dwell on the macabre, but the big science museum in Chicago
: (the one on the lake--I forget its name) has a (very, very, very old)
: exhibit where a cadaver has been sliced top-to-bottom in something like
: 1/2" slices and encased in lucite or something similar.  These are then
: mounted on a hinge, so you can "flip thru" them like the pages of a book.

Yes, it's the Museum of Science and Industry on Lake Shore Drive, just
south of downtown Chicago.  By all means an excellent museum!  I
especially like touring the captured submarine (WWII ?).

: This must date from before the 50's.

I'd have to agree.  It's been 4 years or more since I saw the exhibit,
but it was definitely pretty old.  Fascinating, though.

Davis-Monthan AFB does give tours to the public, but only at certain
times (something like once or twice a week).  I haven't yet taken one.

What I _have_ seen, and can recommend, is the Pima Air Museum.  It is
within Davis-Monthan, but not on it (i.e., it's on private property).
The Air Museum has a wide collection of military aircraft, many
donated to it by the USAF.  The Air Museum also runs a site south of
Tucson: an ICBM silo (the only one in the world open to the public).
This silo was scheduled for destruction, but they got the Soviets to
agree to let it be turned into a museum instead.  Both sites are
highly recommended.

From: fist@iscp.Bellcore.COM (Richard Pierson)
Newsgroups: sci.military
Subject: Re: Visitable military sites along the East Coast

Starting from the North East
1. Battleship cove; located in Fall River Mass. 1 BB - 1DE
several examples of PT boats (atlantic enclosed and pac open
types) 1 - Diesel fleet boat.
2. New London/groton; Submarine Force Museum; 1 - SSN, 2 - mini
subs (WW II vintage German and Japanese) Trainers from the base
that were used in sub school
3. Ft Dix Nj; Armour of various ages parked around the base.
   McGuire AFB; Right next to Ft Dix; various acft parked
   around the base (including a cherry p-38)
4. NJ state Military Academy: located at Sea Girt NJ, infantry
   museum from WW I to current, very active curators there and
5. That Aircraft Carrier in NEW YORK City; located on the
   NYC side of the hudson river (Park in Port Authority and take
   a taxi) about 10 blocks up from 42nd st; 1/2 day easy.
6. NAS Willow Grove PA: They have restored various acft and have
   them on static display: located on rt 611 in Hatboro PA. 8 min
   North of the PA turnpike exit for Willow Grove.
Thats about all I can think of off hand

Not a naval base, but it's worth a plug are the Maine Maritime
Museum in Bath and Bath Iron Works next door.  You can take a boat
ride on the Kennebec and get a good view of the ways at BIW, and
MMM has exhibits on naval shipbuilding etc.

While on vacation in South Carolina last month, I had the opportunity to
visit the Patriot's Point naval and maritime museum.  The museum consists
of the aircraft carrier Yorktown, destroyer Laffey, submarine Clamagore,
nuclear merchant ship Savannah, and a Coast Guard vessel whose name escapes

While touring the Yorktown, I ran across something that surprised me.  On
the way back down from the flight deck and superstructure, the tour path
took you down an escalator (looked just like one in a mall or department
store).  I assume that it belongs there and wasn't added after the carrier
was de-commisioned (since it was non-functional, after all).

Due to the path that the self-guiding tour takes you on, I wasn't sure
what level I was at when I ran across the escalator.  My wife asked me
why it was there, and the only thing I could figure was to take loaded-down
flight crews from the ready-room level to the flight deck.  Makes more
sense than an elevator, since you can still climb up by yourself if power

Can anyone tell me if my guess was on the money?  Does anyone have an idea
when they started putting these things on carriers, and if the practice still

Newsgroups: sci.military
From: Dana Carson <tron!>
Subject: Re: Military Museums in mainland USA (Summary)
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1993 13:52:56 GMT

There is a Historical Electronics museum at Westinghouse Electric near the
BWI airport.  It's not totally military but it has quite a few pieces of
historic military electronics since that is/was our main business at
this site.  It has 
 SCR-270 radar (the type they ignored at Pearl Harbor)
 SCR-584 gunfire control radar (the one used on NOVA's "Echoes of War" episode)
 an Enigma machine
 an Apollo lunar TV camera
 an IEEE history of microwave technology

Hours are 9-3 weekdays, 10-2 first Sat of the month
call (410) 765-3803 for info or to arrange a tour
it's next to the BWI Marriott @ West Nursery & Elkridge Landing Rds.

Newsgroups: sci.military
From: Bruce Burden <>
Subject: Re: Military Museums in Germany
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 16:33:34 GMT

>I will be in Germany in June.  Any recommendations
>on museums to visit?

	In Koblenz, visit BWB, or Bundesamt Fur Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung.

     BWB has what looks to be a nicely done Pz IV, and some various 
     pistols, rifles, etc.

	Munster is a must see. Munster is the main armor museum in Germany.
     Many of their vehicles are restored to runnning condition (Munster
     also happens to be the mechanics school for the Bundeswehr) and most
     every AFV is represented.

From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Barrel Dia. measure w/ air?
Date: 13 Apr 1994 21:58:05 -0400

Folks wanting to see an air gage in a rifle barrel should visit the
John Browning Museum at Rock Island Arsenal near Rock Island, Illinois.
There's a sectioned M14 with a Sheffield Air Gage pushed into about
mid point in the barrel.  The gaging head, air lines, pump and readout
gage are all there.  An interesting display indeed.  At least this was
there when I last visited the place about 5 years ago.


From: (Bart Bobbitt)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Gun museums in the US.
Date: 27 Apr 1994 22:07:22 -0400

The John Browning Museum located on Rock Island in the middle of
the Mississippi River near the town of Rock Island, Illinois, is great.
Many small arms (and some large ones, too) are on display.  This
is one of the best in the USA.


From: "Mahlon G. Kelly" <>
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: Firearms related stuff in Britain?

Most definitely, visit the Tower of London. Excellent on arms
and armor. Expect to spend most of a day. Much for the wife,
also. Also the Museum of Science and Industry. For the very
finest, visit Purdey, Holland & Holland, and Boss. If in
Birmingham, call ahead and make an appointment to see Westley
Richards' factory. If you can talk your way into getting a tour
of the workshop, you'll see why high-grade custom English guns
are so expensive. Ask for Simon Clode.

Newsgroups: sci.military.moderated
From: Paul F Austin <>
Subject: Re: Early Atomic Bombs Size.
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 1997 16:18:07 GMT

Morgoth wrote:

> What about shielding. After all these were the first bombs made.
> They had little time for refinements. The dangers were sort of
> known, but not specifically. So it was probably better to have to
> much shielding, than to little. Also the reaction mass was not as
> known as later was. So maybe it was better to go with a known,
> and refine the needs later, than to fool with it now. After all,
> once it worked, why change it.

If you're ever in Albuquerque, go by the Atomic Museum on Kirtland AFB.
They have many of the early designs on display. In particular, they have
a Little Boy and a Fat Man: no shielding.

For pure fission devices, the main reason for decreasing size was the
improvements in compression techniques which allowed a critical mass to
be assembled using less Special Nuclear Materals. As the Primary designs
got better, the overall size of fusion weapons decreased. In addition,
radiation management improved the efficiency of the secondaries by
requiring less primary yeild to achieve ignition.

If you go to the Atomic Museum, look at the Mk17 (IRRC) which is on
display outside, near the B-52. It  was the first _deliverable_ H-bomb.
The thing is the size of a VolksWagen and weighed about 10 tons. When
compared to the mocked up Mk12A RVs that are part of the MIRV display,
the size decrease is particulary striking.

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