The Manhattan Project

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

University of California-Berkeley

Priscilla McMillan's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and today’s date is June 6, 2013. And we’re in Cambridge, Massachusetts with Priscilla McMillan. And I have a very easy question to begin with, which is, could you say your name, and spell it?

Priscilla McMillan: My name is Priscilla, P-R-I-S-C-I-L-L-A McMillan, M-C-M-I-L-L-A-N.

Bert Tolbert's Interview

Kelly: This is Cindy Kelly, and I am in Boulder, Colorado. It is June 25, 2013, and I am going to be interviewing Bert Mills Tolbert. And the first question for Bert is to say his name, and then spell it?

Tolbert: My name is Bert Mills Tolbert, spelled T-O-L-B-E-R-T.

Kelly: Why don’t you start at the very beginning, and tell us when you were born and where, and then a little bit to lead up to your education and the Manhattan Project?

Bert Tolbert

Bert Tolbert joined the Manhattan Project in 1944 while completing his PhD in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. In April, Tolbert began working for the Radiation Laboratory under E.O. Lawrence and was tasked with separating and enriching small samples of uranium-235 that were used by physicists for various experiments. Tolbert and his team of chemists eventually developed a machine for separating uranium that was so efficient it was shipped down to Oak Ridge to be tested at the Y-12 Facility.

Anne McKusick

 

 

Anne McKusick worked at the Y-12 Plant for Tennessee Eastman. She remembers dancing with Ernest Lawrence at one of Oak Ridge’s dances. Because of the pervasive emphasis on secrecy, she nearly got in trouble for carrying around a book on Russian. She considered becoming a physicist after the war, but decided to go to medical school.

Max Gittler's Interview

Alexandra Levy: All right, we are here on December 28, 2012 with Max Gittler. Please say your name and spell it.

Max Gittler: Max Gittler, M-a-x G-i-t-t-l-e-r.

Levy: Where are you from?

Gittler: New York, New York City, the Bronx.

Levy: So how did you become involved in the Manhattan Project?

Rebecca Bradford Diven

Becky Diven began her work for the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos in 1944, where she developed a quartz fiber microbalance to weigh extremely small amounts of plutonium. Diven discusses what it was like for women working at the Manhattan Project and explains her interaction with the wives of male scientists working at Los Alamos. In addition, Diven talks about workers’ relations with the Pueblos, most of whom worked as maids or janitors. 

Robert Ellingson's Interview

Robert Ellingson: My name is Robert Ellingson, and it’s spelled E-L-L-I-N-G-S-O-N. 

Kelly: Great. Now if you could just tell us where you’re from, and how you happened to end up in the Manhattan Project.

Ellingson: I am from a little town in Idaho, and Idaho is west of Wyoming if you’re not familiar with the geography of the country. Most people look quizzical and say, “Iowa, that’s north of here, isn’t it?” But this is the one in the West. 

Pages

Subscribe to University of California-Berkeley