It’s Atomic!

The Atomic Age in design is attributed to the 1950’s and into the 1960’s. I love the designs that came out of this era.

atomic clock
Atomic Style Clock

I wondered, though, exactly why these colorful geometric shapes that adorned everything from

Eames chair in Fiberglass

furniture and home decorations to plates were called “atomic.” Here is what I found out.

Coming out of WWII, the world had seen the first atomic bomb exploded. It was a scary time. How did this translate into the fun designs that followed? I know, right?! Keep reading, I’ll explain.

blue heaven
Blue Heaven Bowl Atomic Design

As the war ended, the materials that were important during the war such as plastics were transformed into salt shakers and Tupperware containers. According to Humanities Magazine, some of the really cool designs that came out of the atomic era were based on the war. The Eames Chair was based on the molded plywood used for splinting injuries during the war. The iconic George Nelson wall clock of the 50’s was designed to be an atom surrounded by 12 electrons.

atomic burst clock
Nelson Atomic Clock

How cool is that! and something I didn’t realize.

One of the things I like about writing this blog is the stuff I learn about the stuff I love.

Items began sporting motifs that looked like atomic particles.

atomic lamp
Atomic Age Lamp

They showed up on everything from textiles like barkcloth to lighting, dishes, and kitchen counters.

Atomic Barkcloth

There was always the fear that we could annihilate each other now that we knew the atomic bomb existed. In order to face our fears, we surrounded ourselves with hope for the future by using what we feared to make things we loved.

Atomic Space Era Bowls

With the launching of Sputnik in 1957, we were led into the Space Age and design followed suit. It mixed in with motifs of the Atomic Age and the pop culture of the 60’s and mid-century modern until the 1970s came along with its avocado greens and burnt oranges, shifting the look of the American home yet again.That is what I found out about the atomic age of design.

atomic ice
Atomic Design Ice Bucket

I love the look and the designs that came out of this era and on into the space age. They are some of the most unique designs that came from a place of fear, yet gave America perspective and hope.

If you have time, drop by my Etsy shop and take a look at some cool vintage atomic age treasures. If you like this post, leave me a note here and say hi! See you next week.

Where I like to party Adirondack Girl @ Heart !



5 thoughts on “It’s Atomic!

  1. Funny, I recognize some of these pieces from my childhood. It’s all so fun. Didn’t know the fabric was called bark cloth, but I have some in my stash, good to know. That lamp is a gem!! Love your collection ~ Amy


  2. Thanks, Amy! A number of the pieces are actually from my friends at Etsy who let me show off their pieces. If you click on the pics, it will take you to their shops. I love the atomic age in design 🙂


    1. You’re link parties are awesome, Diana. I have found some great new blogs to follow and have met some lovely new people that have found my blog through your party. Thanks for hosting them!


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