The Photography Industry Exposed the Atomic Bomb

It sounds like something straight out of a science fiction novel, but it’s real life…

Back in the late 1940s, Kodak customers began to lodge complaints that the film they purchased was bad.

Why?

Because the radiosensitive film was coming out completely foggy.

Little did Kodak customers know at the time, but the foggy film was a direct result of fallout from the U.S. government’s atomic bomb tests – the Trinity Test in particular – in New Mexico in 1945.

Amazingly, once Kodak began to investigate the problem, they discovered that the fallout from the Trinity Test had reached at least as far east as Indiana.

This revelation came to light after Kodak found that the corn husks they used to pack their products (which were grown in Indiana) tested positive for iodine-131 – a radioactive isotope.

In other words, Kodak had stumbled upon something that was not known to the public – fallout from the first atmospheric nuclear tests was causing radioactive contamination across the U.S.

The problem is, they kept this information to themselves, perhaps of their own volition, or perhaps due to government pressure to do so.

The story doesn’t end there, though.

We’ve all no doubt seen the videos of atomic testing in the Pacific, but testing also occurred in the continental United States, particularly in the 1950s in Nevada.

In early 1951, the government detonated an atomic bomb at Nevada’s National Security Site. A few days later in Rochester, New York, Kodak picked up unusually high radiation levels that were 25 times above the norm.

Given the severity of the radiation and the sheer distance from the atomic test – some 1,600 miles – Kodak couldn’t keep quiet this time.