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Atomic bomb test, Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia, 16 May 1956
Amateur photograph, gelatin developing out paper, 80 x 100 mm, verso with contemporary inscription in pen: Monte Bellos 1st of the series - 16th May 1956 - from 12 miles. A small surface mark to the left side of the print, otherwise fine condition. An extremely rare photograph taken by a British serviceman who witnessed the atomic bomb tests in the Monte Bello Islands off the coast of northwest Western Australia in 1956.The British Government had conducted its first series of nuclear tests in Australia in the Montebello Islands in 1952, and these were followed over the next decade by numerous tests in both South Australia and a second series in the Monte Bello Islands. Photographic images of British nuclear tests on Australian soil are usually encountered in the form of syndicated press photographs, which are in a sense second state images. Such press photographs are in themselves, however, scarce and valuable visual documentation of these momentous events. The tests were outrageous transgressions against the environment and the human population of Australia, in particular the Indigenous peoples of South Australia. The photograph we offer here is of even greater significance than these press photographs, being an original print of a photograph taken with a private camera by an eyewitness to the test carried out on 16 May 1956. The photograph shows the atomic explosion which took place off Trimouille Island, near Monte Bello Island, latitude 20.23 S, longitude 115.55 E. The test was the first in Operation Mosaic, a series conducted in the area by the British Government in mid 1956 to aid research in thermonuclear weapons development.
      [Bookseller: Douglas Stewart Fine Books]
Last Found On: 2012-12-27           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    

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