Plattsburgh Public Library director Stanley A. Ransom stands with a display of books and other items related to the 1945 atomic bomb explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Plattsburgh Public Library, 19 Oak St., currently has a display of books and other items relating to the atomic bomb explosions that took place in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Aug. 6, 1945, and Aug. 9, 1945, respectively.
Among the displays are items collected by library director Stanley A. Ransom while on duty with the U.S. Army of Occupation in 1947. Ransom toured the Nagasaki site that year.
“Nothing seemed to have been done to clean up the city at that time,” recalled Ransom. “The machine gun factory was a heap of twisted metal girders. The school and hospital were concrete shells, with all windows and doors gone and debris lying all around. The fronts of the school and hospital were slammed hard enough to flatten the front edges.”
Ransom toured the hospital and picked up from the floor two sets of yen coins, both fused together and blackened, now on display. The hospital sink drains were pools of melted lead on the floor, blackened by the atomic flash. All glass was melted and in the shape of small beads. Two examples of these are also on display.
Books on top of the display are available for loan. Books inside the glass cases are from Ransom’s personal collection and show the development of printing from pictographs, hieroglyphics and clay tablets to incunabula and other examples of printing through the centuries.
The display accompanies the library’s focus on August as “Book Reading Month.”