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Gathering dust: More atoms

On Saturdays I rummage through my old cabinet, pull out and dust off an item, and present it here on Roots. Today: A few items from the 1957 exhibition The Atom.

Last week I showed you a photo of the Queen and my grandfather during the opening of the exhibition The Atom. I have a few more items from the same event.

Invitation to the opening of the exhibition "The Atom"

An invitation to be present at the exhibition opening. The original invitation said to reply by 15 June, but the date is crossed out and replaced by antwoord p.o., reply by returning mail.

Admission details at the opening of exhibition "The Atom"

The confirmation. My grandfather’s reply was received, and he had to be present at a certain location on the train station of Schiphol Airport Amsterdam by 10am. They would return there after the exhibition for refreshments.

Program of the opening of exhibition "The Atom"

The exhibition program. The guests would arrive between 9:45 and 10:10, the royal couple was expected at 10:20. The royals would be welcomed by a few important people, the Queen would receive flowers, the Prince an exhibition catalogue. After a few speeches, the Prince would open the exhibition at 10:50, and everyone would go for a visit (the royals first). During the exhibition tour, a government minister (Jo Cals) would start the nuclear reactor. At 12:15 everyone would return to the train station, where refreshments and sandwiches would be served.

A letter from the private secretary of H.M. the Queen

A letter from the private secretary of H.M. the Queen. The secretary confirms reception of the two copies of the book that were presented on behalf of publisher Elsevier to HM the Queen at the exhibition opening, and thanks the board of directors of Ahrend for their mediation.

Not a word on the official program about the presentation of the book on the official program. I only have the photo as proof that it really happened, and the receipt above.

Looking at all these documents does leave me with a few questions. The main question is, what was the role of Ahrend (and in particular my grandfather) in the book presentation “on behalf of publisher Elsevier”? Who did present the book – someone from Elsevier or someone from Ahrend? (I can probably find that one out – after all I have a photo.) Why was the book presentation not on the official program – was there also an unofficial, unprinted program?

I also wonder why a letter directed to the board of directors of Ahrend ended up in the private archive of one of their directors (my grandfather), rather than the Ahrend archive.

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