Occam’s Razor Meets Dr. Strangelove



Before the atomic age, if you lived in Tacoma and found yourself vaporized it was probably due to a pyroclastic flow associated with the eruption of Mt. Tacoma. Thanks in part to our inventive neighbors over at Hanford however another option became available after 1945. Tacoma’s Civil Defense Committee explained it all in a nice 15 page pamphlet distributed in 1955 and in so doing framed Tacoma’s own Occam’s razor. Don’t you find jovial existentialism just the thing for almost any occasion?. And so I am posting the following without comment from 1947.

x-ray 1947

I write this from the classroom as the last students are completing their final exams. Somehow it all goes together.



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This site is about the way history, in this case of a city and it's surrounds, is remembered or recorded in stories and small bits of memory. It's also about the way images and stories go together, how they inform and enrich each other and how we as thinking people fill in the content between a narrative and a visual document. So here is my city in time past, the way it looked and the people and events that create its character. For more than 20 years I have taught a 5 credit course on the History of Tacoma at the University of Washington Tacoma. With an average of 30 or 40 students a year, each doing a research paper as their primary focus for the course, I have benefited from many paths of inquiry and many researched and assembled stories. Here are some of them in the retelling along with the treasures of photographs and images in the collections of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Public Library, University of Washington Digital Archives, Washington State Archives at the Office of the Secretary of State, Library of Congress, Washington State University, Alaska State Library, and many other archives, libraries and private collections.

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