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Clean Up Paint Up

Clean Up Paint Up Cause Button Museum
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Clean Up Paint Up button back Cause Button Museum
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Text on Button: 
CLEAN UP PAINT UP
Image Description: 

White text and illustrations of hands cleaning and painting on a blue background

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MADISON ST. CHICAGO 

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This button is most likely related to two documentary film shorts released in 1953 and 1954 called The House in the Middle, which showed the effects of a nuclear bomb test on three small houses. The houses on the left and right are run down and poorly maintained, but the house in the middle is clean, freshly-painted, and well-kept. The middle house survives the attack, while the more rundown houses do not. The 1953 version of the film was created by the Federal Civil Defense Administration (which created a nationwide plan for fallout shelters) to show that taking care of your house could help protect you from a nuclear bomb dropped by the Soviet Union.

The 1954 version of the film was released in color by the National Clean Up – Paint Up – Fix Up Bureau, which was created by the National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association. This version of the film was geared more toward marketing paint than protection against bombs. 

Sources: 

Chisolm, K. (2015, March 10). The cold war meets commerce: the house(s) in the middle [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://blogs.loc.gov/now-see-hear/2015/03/the-cold-war-meets-commerce-t....

Catalog ID: 
CA0193
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