Vintage children's PSA on explosive safety


Originally published at:


Why the hell would there be blasting caps anywhere kids could find them? They cost money, what mine manager in their right mind would be okay with letting people just leave them lying around going to waste?


They probably get blasting caps from their elder brother’s “Junior Mine Engineer” kit. You don’t get toys like that any more. Even the “Atomic Chemistry Kit” advertised last week didn’t have any unstable isotopes in it.


Do the newer ones still recommend reporting explosives to the police; or is that too risky?


No, I doubt it, but mistakes do happen. We also shouldn’t leave guns lying around, and you see how that goes.


One suspects that this is a bigger problem in coal country.


Why do these PSAs always manage to make the thing they’re telling you not to do look really, really, really fun?


First: If someone doesn’t license these images for an album cover, they’re doing it wrong.

Second: The new posters suck. These vintage ones would be much more effective. They should reprint them.


I remember these. The only blasting in my area would have happened at the Titan missile base near where I grew up.


Some times they don’t go off. We were warned about it looking for fossils in road cuts. I found actually some wires and bits of plastic that must have been from a blasting cap.


My father lost the tip of his index finger as a kid by hitting a blasting cap with a hammer. His little sister was worse off, she took all the shrapnel to her face. Guess they didn’t get PSAs in his hometown.


As M_Ashew says, this was a real issue (though I don’t know how widespread the problem was). In the early 1960s one of a 5th-grade schoolmate found a blasting cap “down by the railroad tracks” and blew off a couple of fingers messing with it. Another cap was found in somebody’s school locker. Why the hell people left them lying about I have no clue.


I knew someone who found a box of them by the side of the highway. They likely fell off of a passing truck.


My guess (especially from watching the video) is that during the 50s there was a huge amount of road construction, building the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, and just as you need to watch out for nails in your lawn after having some construction done, you had to watch out for detritus like blasting caps after blasting hills away for tunnels and highways.


I got my hands on a couple blasting caps in the mid-80’s as a kid. Adults are stoopud.


Why does this PSA on blasting caps begin with some misogynistic attacks on a girl’s ambitions to be a pilot?


I was wondering about that myself, although it could be to establish that the one kid was a huge idiot. Suggested subtitle: Misogynistic Asshole Kid and His Toadying Little Suck-up Friend Learn a Valuable Lesson.


My grandmother was missing the last digit of each finger and the thumb of her right hand from playing with a blasting cap. Before 1968, there was no real regulation of dynamite or explosives in general. Caps and dynamite were really common on farms for blowing up tree stumps (before stump grinders) when you cleared land for farming. On my great grandfathers farm they used caps and slices of dynamite to set off ANFO which saved money for larger blasting projects.

So my grandmother found an old cap that had laid out all winter (freeze thaw etc.) and was picking at it with a hair pin when it went off. She actually got punished for it since she should have known better as she had been helping with stump blowing for two years prior to her accident (she was 11 IIRC)
Needless to say, she had no really sympathy for her grand kids skinned knees… and she died of lung cancer in her 90s.


There is probably a skin tone chart so you can work out if you are safe to approach the police, “You need to be this white…”



As relevant today as ever. I especially liked the young lady telling Young Master Dink to get stuffed.