The Manhattan Project

Los Alamos, NM

Eleanor Roensch

Eleanor Roensch worked as a telephone operator in Los Alamos. She remembers a fire breaking out in one of the technical buildings and the concern over coded telegrams, sent by scientists like Rudolf Peierls.

Eleanor Roensch's Interview

Theresa Strottman: It’s Saturday March 21, 1992, and it’s approximately 10:20 in the morning.  We are speaking with Jerry Roensch.  We thank you so much for coming this morning.

Eleanor (Jerry) Roensch: My pleasure.

Strottman: To start off the interview, I wonder if you could briefly tell me when and where you were born and a little something about your early education and training.

Arno Roensch

 

 

Arno Roensch, a glass blower in the Army, worked at Los Alamos. He met his wife, Eleanor Roensch, after catching her eye while playing in the band at a dance. He talks about military-civilian relations and the time he helped Enrico Fermi change a tire.    

Kay Manley's Interview

Theresa Strottman:  It’s Saturday, February 15, 1992, approximately 11:28 AM.  We’re interviewing Kay Manley.  We really appreciate your coming here today.   Briefly tell me when and where you were born and something about your education and training.

Felix DePaula

Felix DePaula talks about his role as “garbage man” at Los Alamos and witnessing the Trinity test. He discusses everyday life at Los Alamos, from water problems to adopting a pet crow, and General Groves’ insistence that everyone work seven days a week. DePaula tells a funny story about accidentally flinging a snake right into the Mess Hall. 

Jay Wechsler's Interview

Jay Wechsler: Well, my mother was visiting her folks in New York when she decided that it was time, and I was the first child, and I guess she was a little surprised. So I was born in New York even though we didn’t live there. And as soon as we were able we were back in New Jersey, where she and my father lived. My father was a chemist and even at a young age he was always taking me into the plant where he worked, showing me things. And I kind of had a mechanical bend or bent.

George Cowan's Interview (2006)

George Cowan: It's weighted so heavily in favor—not in favor of—but the emphasis on number one Los Alamos, and then Oak Ridge, and then Hanford, as the three secret cities or something. But the fact is the Met Lab at Chicago was enormously important. The Stagg Field reactor was historic in ’42, and its sort of dismissed. 

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