The House in the Middle

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The House in the Middle is the title of two American documentary film shorts, respectively from 1953 and 1954, which showed the effects of a nuclear bomb test on a set of three small houses. The black-and-white 1953 film was created by the Federal Civil Defense Administration to attempt to show that a clean, freshly painted house (the middle house) is more likely to survive a nuclear attack than its poorly maintained counterparts (the right and left houses). A color version was released the next year by the National Clean Up – Paint Up – Fix Up Bureau,[1][2][3][4] a "bureau" invented by the National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association trade group (now known as the American Coatings Association).[1][2]

In 2001, the Library of Congress deemed the 1954 film "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Footage for the film was recorded during the Upshot-Knothole Encore test at the Nevada Test Site on May 8, 1953.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mike Mashon (March 10, 2015). "The Cold War Meets Commerce: The House(s) in the Middle". Now See Hear!. Library of Congress. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  2. ^ "Past to Present". American Coatings Association. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  3. ^ Eden, Lynn. "Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge & Nuclear Weapons Devestation". Retrieved 9 June 2017.

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