The style of the Fallout universe is dictated by two things: the fact it's an apocalyptic wasteland and the way it pays destructive homage to 1950s Americana.

Fallout fans might want to take a look at this brilliant gallery, then, because it shows what an actual 1950s American town would have looked like if it was flattened by an atomic bomb.

These photos were taken at Yucca Flat in the Spring of 1955, after the US military had exploded a bomb close to an artificial town, constructed at a cost of $1 million and there to simulate the effects of a nuclear detonation on American streets, homes and people. Well, maybe not people. Mannequins.

LIFE magazine at the time covered the event, and wrote the following:

A day after the 44th nuclear test explosion in the U.S. rent the still Nevada air, observers cautiously inspected department store mannequins which were poised disheveled but still haughty on the sand sand in the homes of Yucca Flat. The figures were residents of an entire million-dollar village built to test the effects of an atomic blast on everything from houses to clothes to canned soup.

The condition of the figures - one charred, another only scorched, another almost untouched - showed that the blast, equivalent to 35,00 tons of TNT, was discriminating in its effects. As one phase of the atomic test, the village and figures help guide civil defense planning - and make clear that even amid atomic holocaust careful planning could save lives.

There may not be any mutants or radscorpions scuttling around, but everything else here looks like it could easily be somewhere you'd wander through looking for bottlecaps.

Nevada Ghosts: Rare Photos From an A-Bomb Test [LIFE, via Laughing Squid]