Stephane Groueff: You personally you were in what department or building? You were directly working with Doctor [Arthur H.] Compton?
Corporate Involvement in the Manhattan Project
Alfred Nier: By the summer of 1943, the question came up, what I should do next? And I had a chance to – [J. Robert] Oppenheimer had gotten a hold of me and suggested I might come out to Los Alamos.
Stephane Groueff: And you knew him?
Michele Gerber: My name is Michele Gerber, M-I-C-H-E-L-E G-E-R-B-E-R.
Why should people today care about the Manhattan Project?
Paul Wilkinson: My name is Paul Wilkinson, spelled P-a-u-l W-i-l-k-i-n-s-o-n.
Cindy Kelly: Great, and we will start the same way, by your telling us where you are from and how you ended up at Oak Ridge.
Paul Wilkinson got a job at the Y-12 Plant Oak Ridge after graduating college. He supervised calutron work and some of the “calutron girls,” including his future wife, Dorothy. Wilkinson.
Tell us your name.
Roger Rohrbacher: I'm Roger Rohrbacher. That’s R-O-H-R-B-A-C-H-E-R.
How did you come to Hanford?
Rohrbacher: In 1942 and '43, I was working for DuPont in an acid plant in Illinois and my buddies were disappearing. They ended up in Richland, so I got the map out and Richland, Pasco weren't even recorded on the map. I contacted them and I said, “What are you guys doing?”
They said, “We don't know.”
Roger Rohrbacher was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 11, 1920. He graduated from Macalester College in 1942 with a degree in chemistry and physics. Rohrbacher joined the Manhattan Project and was sent to Hanford in early 1944. He worked as an instrument engineer at the B Reactor. Rohrbacher was tasked with measurign neutron flow and temperature pressure and radiation monitoring.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it’s Friday, May 15, 2015, and I’m in Middlebury, Vermont, with Irwin P. Sharpe. And, my first question for him is to tell us your name and spell it.
Irwin Sharpe: Oh, I know that. Okay. It’s Irwin, I-r-w-i-n, initial P, Sharpe, S-h-a-r-p-e.
Irwin P. Sharpe was born in 1921. He was recruited for the Manhattan Project by his employer, General Electric, after he graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in engineering in 1942. His work took place in the Woolworth Building in Manhattan, where he played a key role in developing pumps and seals to transport gas and oil.
Mary Kalbert: My name is Mary Kalbert and I am in Friday Harbor, Washington, interviewing Gordon Steele on June 16, 2014 for the Atomic Heritage Foundation Manhattan Voices Project. Gordon?
Gordon Steele: My name is Gordon, and you want me to spell my name?
Kalbert: Please spell your name for me.
Steele: Gordon. G-O-R-D-O-N. Steele. S-T-E-E-L-E.