The Fallout Shelter Package Ventilation Kit (PVK) is something I had always wondered about in my early years of collecting Civil Defense items. I came across a few obscure mentions of PVKs in my piles of CD stuff over the years but had never found photos or other proof that any were ever built, put to use or distributed. Dave Monteyne who did some digging through the National Archives at College Park, Maryland in November 2004 sent me a copy of the above photo that he found in the archives. I was amazed. This was the first photograhic proof that I had come across that PVKs actually existed. Thanks Dave!!
In 2005 I found several sections of the Federal Civil Defense Guide for sale on ebay. One section had information on Package Ventilation Kits. After that I was finding all sorts of info on PVKs!
In the FCDG section that covers how to put together a Community Shelter Plan (CSP)
I found a whole paragraph
about PVKs and a definition of PVKs. The two sparse mentions in my other
CD booklets aren't more that 2 lines each.
Here is the Federal CD Guide info......
PVK- Packaged ventilation kit.- A compact, portable ventilation device that can be electrically or pedal operated, for stocking in belowground shelter areas for use in an emergency to increase the rated capacity and/or habitability of such shelter.Federal Civil Defense Guide Part D, Chapter 3, Appendix 1. December 1965 Page 101.
OCD has under development a program to provide PVK's to increase the capacity of presently unventilated areas. When these kits are available, it will be possible to add ventilation spaces to local shelter inventories without incurring costs of the order of magnitude indicated on NFSS (National Fallout Shelter Survey) printouts.
Since one of the major purposes of the CSP (Community Shelter Plan)
is to make use of the best protected space available, steps will be taken
to carry out the SSS (Small Structures Survey), expanded survey /NFSS
updating, and EFPH (Evaluation of Fallout Protection in Homes) in
all CSP localities in time to incorporate the results in the Step I, shelter
capability allocation plan. In addition, the CSP will provide data ( in
Step IV, procedures for developing shelter) on PVK requirements. This will
enable localities to requisition and install PVK's when they are available,
in the numbers and for the facilities identified by the CSP .
Federal Civil Defense Guide Part D, Chapter 3, Appendix 1. December 1965 Page 5.
It's interesting to note here that this is the December 1965 section of the FCDG and it says that the PVK program is "under development." This is really at the tail-end of stocking shelters and the government funding of shelter supplies and the PVK program is just starting.
The above photo was in the DOD OCD 1964 Annual Report on page 70 and on that page it states "the first prototype of a packaged ventilation unit was developed" and refers to the above photo. I can't tell if the flex ducting is made into and coming out of the top of that box or if it's just sitting on top of the box. It would be interesting to see what type of fan is in the box. Here is the full page 70 from the 1964 Annual Report.
In June 2015 I finally added a Package Ventilation Kit to my ridiculous collection. It took almost 30 years but it finally happened. Here is a a Adobe Acrobat PDF file of the instructions that come with the PVK. The instructions are in the Fan Assembly box.PDF File of Package Ventilation Kit Assembly and Operating Instructions.
I threw this video together with Adobe Premier. It's my first effort with the software. I'll try to eventually rig up a PVK with one of the plastic tube ducts and do a demonstration with the full rig hooked up. If you watch the video make sure to keep it going to the very end. There is an important public service message at the end of the video.
Power Module Box Unit B
Packaging Of Power Module Unit B
Fan Assembly Box Unit A
Fan Assembly Box Packaging. Just Opened June 2015
Each component of the PVK is packaged in a heavy packing container which is sealed inside of a MIL-B-131 plastic film foil bag. The only other Civil Defense related items I have seen packaged this way were items included in Package Disaster Hospital (PDH) stocks. Over almost 50 years in the case of the PVKs this packing system holds up remarkably well. With the 50+ year old PDH items I opened that were sealed in this way everything I opened was in new condition. One fan assembly box I have has a completely deteriorated bottom. The foil film bag evidently sat in water for an extended period and the seal appeared to have been compromised but when I opened the foil film bag the cardboard inner box had no water staining at all and everything in the box (above lower left photo) was in like-new condition.
The Power Module Unit B is contained in a molded styrofoam packing container (seen in top left photo) and the Fan Assembly Unit A is contained in a three-corrugated-layer-thick heavy cardboard box. The packing container/foil film bag packages are contained inside of a wax-impregnated cardboard outer box. This box is only one corrugated layer thick and displays the ominous "Survival Supplies..." label typical to all community fallout shelter supplies.
One thing that is interesting to note is that since the PVK was a late addition to the community shelter supply family there is something missing from the label on the box. The label states "Survival Supplies Furnished By Office Of Civil Defense." The label seems very incomplete without the ominous "Department Of Defense" preceding the "Office of Civil Defense." There was a transfer of the Office of Civil Defense to the office of the Secretary of The Army in 1964. The OCD was no longer under the Secretary of Defense so I believe that's why the labels have the "Department Of Defense" omitted. After writing this paragraph I realized that I am as slow as ever because plainly printed on the cover of the operating instructions booklet (downloadable above) is "Office Of Civil Defense, Office Of The Secretary Of The Army." It takes me a while sometimes...
Close Up Of Fan Assembly
Fan Assembly Data Plate