CD V-457 Count Rate Meter for Training (ca. 1960)

CD V-457 Count Rate Meter for Training
CD V-457 Count Rate Meter for Training

The above photos show the first version of the Model 457 (produced by Jordan Electronics Inc.).

Quoting the Radiological Defense Manual:

"The CD V-457 (Figure 5.40) is a Geiger counter which has been especially designed for classroom demonstrator use. It operates on a normal 110-volt AC power supply and produces both visible and audible responses to nuclear radiation. The instrument is used in teaching basic nuclear radiation physics and for decontamination demonstrations."

CD V-457 Count Rate Meter for Training

These photos show the three versions of the CD V-457 that were manufactured by Nucleonic Corporation of America (Brooklyn, New York). From left to right (in both photos): the Model 2, the Model 3 and the Model 3A. Look pretty much the same don't they? The black knob to the left is the voltage adjustment, the knob to the right is the volume adjustment for the loudspeaker, and the lower middle black knob is the four-position range switch (off, high voltage check, X 10 and X 1). The light immediately below the center of the meter face flashes as a visual indicator of the count rate.

CD V-457 Count Rate Meter for Training

The CD V-457 was distributed together with a number of other CD V instruments and accessories for training and demonstration purposes. Everything was housed in a yellow storage/shipping case. A complete demonstration kit consisted of the following:

  1. Shipping and storage case (1)
  2. Padlock with two keys (1)
  3. Radiological demonstrator unit (1)
  4. Probe and cable assembly (1)
  5. Spare GM tube, OCDM Type 6993 (1)
  6. Calibrated mounting board (1)
  7. Radium beta-gamma sources (2)
  8. Flat aluminum absorbers (14)
  9. Flat cardboard absorbers (20)
  10. Flat lead absorbers (10)
  11. Cylindrical aluminum absorber (1)
  12. Cylindrical cardboard absorber (1)
  13. Cylindrical lead absorber (1)
  14. Film container (1)
  15. Instruction manual (1)
  16. CD V-138 dosimeters (25)
  17. CD V-750 chargers (3)
  18. CD V-787 Food and Water standards (10)
CD V-457 Count Rate Meter for Training

This CD V set was based on the Model 1613A training set produced in the early 1950s by Nuclear Instrument & Chemical Corp., of Chicago Illinois. The latter also came with a calibrated mounting board, two radium sources, 15 flat aluminum absorbers, 10 flat lead absorbers, 20 flat cardboard absorbers, one cylindrical aluminum absorber, one cylindrical lead absorber and one cylindrical cardboard absorber. In place of the Model 457 monitor, which hadn't yet been produced, the Nuclear Instrument & Chemical Corp set came with the "Classmaster" monitor.

CD V-457 Count Rate Meter for Training

The above photo, showing the training set in use, is from the National Archives. The text accompanying the photo reads:

"Sister Mary Helene ven Horst, science instructor at Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa, teaches students the theory of radiation and the use of radiological monitoring instruments. A 10-hour course in radiological meter reading is taught to students at the college, and a 32-hour course in radiation physics and monitoring is taught at the adult level. Marycrest College is operated by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, ca. 1960"

The photo shows the GM probe of a Jordan CD V-457 mounted at one end of the "calibrated mounting board" with a set of absorbers between the probe and the source. A CD V-700 Model 3 GM detector and a pair of pocket dosimeters are also on the table.

According to a presentation given by Jack Greene, 200 of the CD V-457s were procured in 1956. Data in the 1962 Annual Report of the Office of Civil Defense indicate that 300 were ordered through FY 1958 (prior to FY 1959), 1,276 were ordered in 1959, 971 in 1960 and 1,029 in 1961. The 1986 Defense Civil Preparedness Agency publication Radiological Instruments: An Essential Resource for National Preparedness (CPG 3-1) estimated that that 1,058 had been disposed of or excessed which meant that 2,518 CD V-457 units remained in state and Federal inventories.

Lionel Electronic Laboratories made a commercial version of this instrument, the Type 457, which they said would "fit the most modest school or university budget." It sold for $175 in 1961.

Detector: Halogen quenched thin-walled (30 mg/cm2) Geiger tube Anton/Lionel 114/6993 operated at 900 volts

Range: 0-1500 cpm, 0-15,000 cpm

Voltage: 500-1200 volts

Meter: The meter reading, from 0 to 1500, is either cpm or volts depending on the range switch setting

Audio: Loudspeaker

Size: 9.5" high x 7" wide x 8.5" high

Power: 110-volt AC current

Estimated Dates of First Production:

  • Model 1 ca. 1956 (identified as the Model Jordan 457, not identified as a model 1)
  • Model 2 ca. 1959
  • Model 3 ca. 1960
  • Model 3A ca. 1961

Approximate Cumulative Procurement, Inventory and Distribution of CD V-457s*

Fiscal Year Procured Inventoried Distributed
Through 1956 - - -
FY 1957 200 thru 1957 114
FY 1958 300 226
FY 1959 300 1 299
FY 1960 1,576 1,278 298
FY 1961 3,576 2,073 474
FY 1962 3,576 2,813 736
FY 1963 3,576
FY 1964 3,576
FY 1965 3,576 1,986 1,577
FY 1966 3,576 1,687 1,885
FY 1967 3,576 1,578 1,994
FY 1968 3,576 1,472 2,100
FY 1969 3,576 1,403 2,154
FY 1970 3,576 79 2,169
FY 1971 3,576 66 2,182
FY 1972 3,576 81 2,189
FY 1973 3,576
FY 1973 3,576 480 3.090

*The numbers in the above table should be considered approximate. I compiled them from data in the Annual Statistical Reports of the OCDM, OCD and DCPA. By "procured," I mean delivered by the manufacturer to the OCDM, OCD or DCPA. "Inventoried" means stored in a Federal (rather than state) warehouse ready for distribution. "Distributed" means sent to the end user. The latter primarily means the states, but also various federal agencies and even foreign governments. The number of procured instruments may be greater than the combined number of inventoried and distributed instruments for a variety of reasons: some may have been sent back to the manufacturer, some may have been disposed of, the numbers might be incorrect, etc.

The Jordan Model 457 was kindly donated by the Northern Ohio Chapter of the Health Physics Society courtesy of John Wills. Also, many thanks to Don Lanzrath for providing me with the CD V-787 10-day water standards, the lead cylindrical shield and a number of the CD V-138 dosimeters.


  • Atomic Energy Commission Radiation Instrument Catalog No. 3. RIB-8. 1952.
  • Lionel Electronic Laboratories advertisement in Nucleonics. July 1961. Page 118.
  • Nucleonic Corporation of America. Instruction, Maintenance and Experiment Manual. Radiological Demonstration Unit. OCDM Item No. CD V-457 Model No. 2. No date. The manual can be downloaded from the Museum Library.
  • Defense Civil Preparedness Agency. Radiological Defense Manual. CPG 2-6.2. June 1977.