Westinghouse Atom Smasher – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Westinghouse Atom Smasher

This icon of the Atomic Age now lays dormant. 

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The World’s first industrial Van de Graaff Generator is lying on its side, abandoned but still intact, in Forest Hills, Pennsylvania. Built by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1937, “the atom smasher was the centerpiece of the first large-scale program in nuclear physics established in industry,” according to Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  It remained in use until 1958. In 2015, the bulb was taken off of its pedestal and laid on its side in hopes that someone will eventually restore it. It is a symbol of Westinghouse’s early involvement in nuclear power, but also the fleeting nature of our technological work.


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You can easily view and photograph the atom smasher from outside the chain-link fence, but it's pretty clear that no trespassing is allowed.

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