On August 6th of 1945, at 08:15hrs, the Enola Gay B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. 43 seconds later, it detonated. Tragically, very little survived the explosion, including many thousands of the city's inhabitants and countless buildings, but the rather fawning letter seen below - sent five years later by the manager of Hiroshima's recently rebuilt Teikoku Bank, to the Mosler Safe Company in the U.S. - provided opportunistic company president E. H. Mosler with, first of all, further proof that the bank vaults built by his firm were strong enough to withstand a blast of frightening proportions and, in turn, the perfect testimonial with which to advertise his products for a number of years.
Transcript follows. For further background visit the Conelrad blog, the editor of which - Bill Geerhart - brought the letter to my attention. Incidentally, Bill is the author of the somewhat unrelated but genuinely fantastic Little Billy's Letters: An Incorrigible Inner Child's Correspondence with the Famous, Infamous, and Just Plain Bewildered.
The Teikoku Bank Limited
Kawayacho, Hiroshima Japan.
May 22, 1950
We consider it our great honour to inform you that The Teikoku Bank, the successor to the Mitsui Bank, had in 1925 when its Hiroshima branch was newly built dared to set two vault doors made by your Hamilton Factory.
As you know in 1945 the Atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima, and the whole city was destroyed and thousands of citizens lost their precious lives. And our building, the best artistic one in Hiroshima, was also destroyed. However it was our great luck to find that though the surface of the vault doors was heavily damaged, its contents were not affected at all and the cash and important documents were perfectly saved. The superiority of your goods is completely verified as truly told to the whole world in the American Bankers, the July 13th issue of 1946. Your products were admired for being stronger than the atomic bomb.
Since then about five years have elapsed. The building and doors of the vault have been completely repaired and we have started our business on the first of the month. Recently many tourists have come to see our building and when we show them your vault we proudly explain to them how strong they were against the atomic explosion.
We hereby wish to have a letter of congratulations and some souvenir to celebrate our opening business at our old office. We shall appreciate it as our utmost honour, and we believe it will do much to keep and promote a good will relation for the long future.
Yours very faithfully
The Teikoku Bank Limited
Manager, Hiroshima Branch.