The Manhattan Project

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & HistoryNational Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Santa Fe, NM

Ellen Bradbury Reid's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly with Atomic Heritage Foundation and it is Wednesday, July 31, 2013 and I am with Ellen Bradbury Reid. My first question for Ellen is to please tell us your name and spell it. 

Ellen Bradbury Reid: Ellen Bradbury Reid. Actually I was Ellen Wilder, and then I married John Bradbury and then eventually married Ed Reid so it is E-l-l-e-n, B-r-a-d-b-u-r-y, R-e-i-d. 

Ellen Bradbury Reid

Ellen Bradbury Reid moved to Los Alamos in the summer of 1944 when her father was hired by Norris Bradbury to work in the high explosives division. Reid recalls what it was like growing up as a child at Los Alamos and shares stories about her adventures into the Los Alamos hillside with her younger brother. She also shares memories of attending school in Los Alamos and discusses the diversity of the student body.

Dimas Chavez

Dimas Chavez was a young child when he moved to Los Alamos with his family for his father to work for the Zia Company on the Manhattan Project. He recalls his struggle to learn English, and the support of his parents and members of the Los Alamos community to help him become fluent. He lived in a small house by Bathtub Row, and sold newspapers to J. Robert Oppenheimer. Social activities included watching wrestling matches, concerts, and riding inner tubes on the Rio Grande. Chavez unwittingly turned down an opportunity to watch the Trinity test.

Robert Schwerin

Robert Schwerin arrived at Los Alamos in June of 1945 and worked as a security guard for the Manhattan Project, often guarding plutonium. He provided security detail for the “black” government vehicles carrying the precious plutonium from the railway stations in New Mexico to Los Alamos and offers valuable insight into the Army’s emphasis on secrecy and security. He also recalls his brief encounter with General Leslie Groves, to whom he hand-delivered a top-secret message regarding the 1947 nuclear tests in the South Pacific.

Pat Krikorian's Interview

Pat Krikorian: I’m Katherine Patterson Krikorian, better known as “Pat” locally. I was born in Oxford, Mississippi in October 1921, and I joined the militarily primarily because we were a very patriotic family and I had three brothers and one sister who were involved at the time. Later on my mother thought she was losing out on things, so she went to work in an ammunition factory [laughter]. We laugh about that.

Darragh Nagle

Darragh Nagle graduated from Columbia University and worked with Enrico Fermi and Herbert Anderson at the Chicago Pile during the early years of the Manhattan Project. Nagle then transferred to Los Alamos, where he joined the Omega Team and conducted criticality experiments. Nagle was also responsible for collecting soil samples after the atomic bomb test at the Trinity Site.

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