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J Lawrence (Larry) Cassingham dies

29/12/2007. Contributed by Steve Green

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Cassingham was the technical advisor on various scifi TV shows from the sixties and fifties such as the Atomic Kid and Magnetic Monster.

J Lawrence "Larry" Cassingham: army meteorologist, inventor, journalist, actor; died 23 December, the day after his 89th birthday. In the 1940s, Cassingham developed the first practical portable Geiger counter; later, he cashed in on the "uranium boom" with the Nucleometer.

His scientific background and Californian location led him to being technical advisor on many of the "atomic" movies and tv shows of the 1950s and 1960s, including Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952), The Magnetic Monster (1953) and The Atomic Kid (1954).

He later recalled arguing with directors: "They often wanted more drama, and I wanted more technical accuracy. I usually lost!" In the late 1960s, Cassingham was lured out of retirement to work with Silicon Valley on methods of reducing damage to circuit boards from static electricity.

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