CD V-746BX Self Charging Prototype Pocket Dosimeter (1960-1962)

The 1961 Annual Report from the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization (OCDM) reported that "The Victoreen Instrument Co. was developing a prototype citizen's dosimeter having a self-charging feature." The 1962 annual report of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the successor to the OCDM, stated that the Victoreen Company began development of a "Citizens Dosimeter V-746-X" in November of 1959 and that this work was completed as of June 30, 1962. More detail was provided in a January 1962 article in the journal Nucleonics. This article noted that Victoreen was developing a 0-600 R quartz-fiber dosimeter, the CD V-746X, with a built-in charger that involved a "solid state battery charger." 

The prototype in the ORAU collection (with a range of 0-600 R) is identified as a CD V746BX self-charging dosimeter. This might or might not be the same as the CD V-726X prototype referred to in the Nucleonics article and the OCD annual report. It is hard to tell because, the manufacturer of the prototype in the ORAU collection is not indicated. While the Nucleonics article and the OCD reports indicate that the CD V-746X prototype was manufactured by Victoreen, the blue and tan colors of this example are characteristic of dosimeters produced by Bendix. Indeed, it is quite similar to the CD V-746 that came with the Bendix Family Radiation Measurement Kit, except that this has a built-in charger. In addition, the body of this prototype is almost identical to those of the Bendix Models 604 and 617 dosimeters. Then again, it is also similar in construction to the Victoreen Model 534. These Bendix and Victoreen dosimeters housed two pocket chambers with different ranges side by side in the same case. If this example was indeed produced by Bendix, then the CD V-746X and CD V-746BX were two different animals.

CD V-746BX Prototype Self-charging Dosimeter
CD V-746BX Prototype Self-charging Dosimeter

Left: The eyepiece           Above: Charger control            Right: Scale

The instructions read: "To charge: 1. Twist recessed slot in bottom of instrument to CH. position momentarily with a coin or screwdriver and release. 2. Look through lens toward light while holding recessed slot in DIS position. Release recessed slot when hairline crosses zero on scale."

Donated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency courtesy of Carl Siebentritt.


  • Fallout-Detection, Protection Programs Accelerated, Nucleonics November 1961, p. 41-42.
  • How Civil Defense Measures Harmful Radiation, Nucleonics, January 1962, p. 67-68.