The Manhattan Project

Hanford, WA

Annette Heriford


Born in Kennewick in 1920, Annette Heriford grew up in Hanford, where her family farmed alfalfa and apples. Heriford recounts the beauty of Hanford’s apple orchards and the sudden removal her family faced in 1943. 

Harry Kamack

Harry Kamack worked as a chemical engineer for the DuPont Company during the early 1940s, when he was transferred to Chicago to work at the Metallurgical Laboratory. As a chemical engineer, Kamack admits that he did not have much knowledge of nuclear physics, but he quickly learned and was soon tasked with building a Geiger counter. In 1943, Kamack was transferred to Oak Ridge, where he continued work on developing processes for the separation of plutonium at the X-10 Graphite Reactor.

William Schneller's Interview

Cindy Kelly: All right, I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and today is Wednesday, March 20, 2013. And what I’d like to do is first have you introduce yourself. Tell me your name and spell it.

William Schneller: Well, my name is William F. Schneller, and it’s W-I-L-L-I-A-M, F, S-C-H-N-E-L-L-E-R.

Kelly: Terrific. You did very well. [Laughter]

Schneller: I still remember it.

William Schneller

William Schneller worked for DuPont at Hanford on the Manhattan Project, and later at Oak Ridge. He recalls DuPont’s emphasis on safety, the fear that the fruit around Hanford might be contaminated with radiation, and sneaking a dog past Oak Ridge guards. 

Russell Stanton's Interview

[Interviewed by Cindy Kelly and Tom Zannes.]

Tell us your name.

Russell Stanton: I'm Russell C. Stanton. R-U-S-S-E-L-L, C. for Crom, S-T-A-N-T-O-N. 

Tell us about yourself.

Stanton: Well, I was born in Elephant Butte, New Mexico. My father was an engineer with the Bureau of Reclamation and they built a dam there. I was born in a wall tent at the site, as was my sister, and that was back in on August 1 in 1915. 

Russell Stanton

Russell Stanton, a civil engineer, arrived at Hanford in October 1943 after working at various DuPont plants across the country. At Hanford, Stanton was tasked with constructing the 105 buildings that housed the nuclear reactors, including the B Reactor. Later, Stanton worked on making side shields for the piles and even helped construct a fish hatchery for the study of the effects of radiation on wildlife. Stanton discusses the incredible logistics required to coordinate work at the site and describes the hard-working attitude of many workers.

Roger Hultgren

Minnesota native Roger Hultgren worked for the DuPont Company as a chemist during the early 1940s, when he was suddenly transferred to Hanford to work on the Manhattan Project in the spring of 1944. Hultgren discusses the secrecy at Hanford and recalls not being allowed to share information with other scientists even though they were working on the same project. Hultgren also explains the importance of safety and recalls Du Pont’s strong commitment to its employees and their health.


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