The Manhattan Project

Houdaille-Hershey Company

Lawrence S. O'Rourke's Interview

Cindy Kelly: This is Cindy Kelly at Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is March 20, 2013 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. And we are delighted to have Larry O’Rourke. His first question is to tell us your name and spell it, please.

Lawrence S. O’Rourke: I am Lawrence S. O’Rourke, L-A-W-R-E-N-C-E S-for Steven O’Rourke, O-’-R-O-U-R-K-E.  And, I like to be known as Larry. 

Kelly: Perfect, Larry. Please tell us your birthdate and where you were born.

Donald Trauger's Interview

Donald Trauger: Yes, I’m Donald Trauger. And Trauger is T-R-A-U-G-E-R, Trauger. My mother-in-law when we first married would say auger, Trauger so she could remember it. [Laughter.]

Kelly: All right. Well, tell us how you came to Oak Ridge and how—what you did as your role in the Manhattan Project; where you were from and how you got involved.

Decatur

The Houdaille-Hershey Plant was a secret Manhattan Project site located in Decatur, Illinois that was responsible for plating the interior of pipes with a nickel-powder barrier material that could be used for the gaseous diffusion process for the enrichment of uranium.

Continuing failure to develop a suitable barrier material for the gaseous diffusion process by 1943 led to a renewed sense of urgency to develop an adequate material that could withstand the high pressure of the heavy, corrosive gas used in the process.

George Mahfouz's Interview

Cynthia Kelly: Why don’t you start, George, by telling us your name and spelling it.

George Mahfouz: I’m George Mahfouz, last name is spelled M-A-H-F-, as in Frank, -O-U-Z, as in zebra.

Kelly: Is that Egyptian? 

Mahfouz: It’s Middle Eastern. The name is Syrian. 

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