Model 47 Trinity Diorama

Completed February 1998

A measurable analog of the Trinity Site and surrounding area, as it appeared shortly after 6 July 1945. As is well known, land may tell many stories; but in this case only two can be found embedded in the landscape-analog, using the attached probe. The analogy is reasonably accurate, as indicated on the legend; 1 mile absolute, ½ mile relative, no vertical scale. The history of this site was intentionally obscured or at least obfuscated; also, the physical terrain has in fact changed, especially since the configuration mapped here was a temporary one -- the results having been obtained, everyone went home (except rancher McDonald, ousted for the purpose), and one small mess being left in the military desert.

The instrument is built in the cabinet of what was called an "M2 Meter Tester", built by the Marion Electrical Instrument Co., Manchester New Hampshire, in 1956. The plaster model is measured and carved to fit a modern aerial contour map; the roadways and surface features were placed using a combination of modern and historical maps, historic photos and drawings, government maps and drawings, and a couple of personal site visits and photos. It is doubtful that this restored and composite information exists elsewhere.

The electronics are a hybrid of old and new; the electron tube amplifier visible in the back of the instrument is built upon the original Marion electronic assembly, stripped down to the tube sockets, amplifies the weak signal obtained from the probe and drives the loudspeaker on the front panel. Embedded within the device are additional, modern electronics that contains the two-channel sound source that drives two transducers in the desert soil.

The front panel is etched and corroded copper, enamel filled, and tin plated. The solid wood case has been shellacked and oiled; inside the removable cover are a legend to the numbered notable sites on the map, a set of spare tubes in a phenolic and copper box, and a clip to hold the probe.

Mixed media (wood, plaster, watercolor, shellac, copper, electron tubes, electronic components), 6"h x 10"w x 16"d, approx. 12 lb.

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