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Some radiation meters were sold commercially to the public for civil defense use.
There may have been more, but these are the only types that I am aware of.
Click Here to see an ad
for the Bendix Family
This kit consists of instruments very similar to the civil defense dosimeters and charger. The main difference in the kit is the CD V-736 Ratemeter. This instrument has 2 scales which are read in 1 and 10 minute time periods. This allows the measururement of radiation in a shorter time similar to a survey meter even though it's still a dosimeter. The instrument is just exposed for the appropriate period of time for the scale being read. The CD V-746 is a high scale dosimeter that reads up to 600 roentgens total dose. It's interesting that these instruments also have the "CD-V" as part of their model number even this set was sold to the public. See a description and instructions for this kit of the instruments below.
This is the charger for the instruments in the Bendix kit. This charger is the same as the early Civil Defense issue charger (CD V-750) but with a different color case.
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Just click on the link or instruction picture to see a large scan of the instructions.
Click the link below to see a pdf file of the operation and maintenance manual for this kit.
bendfamkit.pdf (672Kb File Size)
I didn't know that Landsverk ever sold a set like this until I saw this one for sale on ebay in mid-2004. It's pretty much the same set as the Bendix set seen above but made by Landsverk. This set has a "L-746" Personal Dosimeter which is actually a "IM 93-UD Radiacmeter." The IM 93 label is visible under the paint on the dosimeter and on the scale of the dosimeter. The set also has a "L-730 Dosimeter/Ratemeter" sort of like the Bendix set but the L-730 scale has 0-200 Roentgens/Hour dose-rate scale and a 0-20 Roentgens dose scale. The dosimeter charger is marked as a CD V-750 Model 5A. It's interesting to note that this set is "CD Yellow" and that the charger displays the"CD" emblem. Commercially sold instruments weren't supposed to display markings that way though I don't know how the govt. would have stopped the manufacturers from doing so. Click the photo to see a larger version.
Victoreen Fallout Detection Meter
This is the Victoreen Fallout detection meter, a commercially sold variant of the CD V-720. The model number of this unit is 61720 which leads me to beleive that this was originally a CD V-720 manufactured in 1961. This meter has a CD V-700 bottom instead of the CD V-720 bottom with the sliding cover which makes it function as a CD V-715 less the 0.1 scale. This unit was sold by Victoreen for $49.95 in the early 1960s. The black label on the case is affixed over the original cast-in model information label.
vicfallmeter.pdf (541Kb File Size)
The inside of the Fallout Detection Meter reveals the internals of a CD V-720. The ion chamber is the same as a 720 but without the thick aluminum protective plate glued to the bottom. Click below to see an advertisement for the fallout detection meter taken from "The Fallout Shelter Handbook" by Chuck West published in 1962.
Click Here to see the Fallout Detection Meter Advertisement
CD V-727 Citizens Survey Meter
The Victoreen CD V-727 Citizens Survey meter is very similar to the Victoreen Fallout Detection Meter (VFDM) but it has only one range instead of the three ranges the VFDM has. It appears the CD V-727 was an effort to make a simpler meter for the "average Joe" to use in a nuclear emergency. It's interesting that this meter has a CD V number where the VFDM doesn't. I don't know which came first the CD V-727 or the VFDM. The CD V-727 scale reads from 0-100 r/hr with the first half of the scale being 1-10 and the second half being 10-100. The CD V-727 also uses a CD V-700 case bottom but has a CD V-715 ion chamber. This meter appears to be different from the other CD meters unlike the VFDM which appears just to be a CD V-720 with a CD V-700 bottom. I don't know how many of these were made or if they were widely sold to the public. I have never seen a published advertisement for one. This CD V-727 doesn't have a serial number on the top label.
A very special Thanks to Rob Stone of Portsmouth Ohio for this meter!