turns out that the artist was actually pretty up on the science of the
day–at least, as it trickled down through popular articles.
left (click to enlarge) is a thumbnail of an electrostatic atom smasher of the day, which used static electricity to shoot hydrogen
atoms at a target and bash them to bits; much as our modern particle
accelerators do today. It was a reasonable assumption that if
you were going to produce atomic power, it would be by something that
worked along the lines of an atom smasher, only bigger, and therefore
a future atomic plant would be made up of a series of great big
smashers shaped to look similar to the ones of the present .
I particularly like the way the artist dealt with
the problem of how to go from atomic to electric power. Today,
we use atomic power to boil water to drive turbines. In this
depiction, the atom smasher fed from cylinders of hydrogen does
"something" that drives what seems to be a piston. This turns a
crank, which drives a flywheel via a belt, which in turn powers a
It's downright whimsical.