In order to better understand the blast and thermal effects of a nuclear bomb, the US dropped a 16-kiloton bomb on a fake town in the middle of the Nevada desert. The mission, dubbed “Operation Doorstep,” was used to determine if wooden-frame homes, cars, and mannequins — in place of people — could survive a nuclear blast.
The testing facilities’ employees manufactured and assembled shops, gas stations, and homes made of brick and wood — dubbing these areas “Doom Towns.” Inside these buildings, the workers staged the interiors with full-size mannequin families wearing various types clothing to witness how the different fabrics would hold up during the energy bursts and extreme heat.
After denotation, the homes that were within 6,000 feet from ground zero lost rooftops, suffered broken windows and the several coats of paint blistered and scraped off in a matter of a few moments.
Below are some haunting images from the March 17, 1953: