Robert S. Norris: By the late 30s, physicists, in Europe primarily, but some in America too, were making great discoveries about the atom. The key date here was January 1939, when European scientists had discovered fission. News of that was brought to the United States by Niels Bohr. Actually, it was brought to Washington, DC, at a conference at George Washington University.
Cindy Kelly: I'm Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it is October 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C. I have with me Margaret Lawrence Norman, and if you could say your name and spell it.
Margaret Norman: Okay. It’s Margaret, but I go as Margie. M-A-R-G-I-E, but officially my father always called me Margaret. M-A-R-G-A-R-E-T, Lawrence, L-A-W-R-E-N-C-E Norman, N-O-R-M-A-N.
Kelly: Can you tell us when you were born and where, and begin describing what your parents were like and what you remember from your early years?
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C., and it’s Monday, April 27, 2017. My first question today is to tell us your name and spell it.
Frank Settle: Okay. It’s Frank Settle, S-E-T-T-L-E.
Kelly: We’re here today to talk—at least start off talking, about this wonderful book that Frank has written, called General George C. Marshall and the Atomic Bomb. But first, I want him to tell us a little bit about himself, how he got interested in this, what he does for a living.
Willie Atencio: The first thing we need to know is, where were you born?
Dick Money: In Chicago.
Atencio: Okay, you were born in Chicago. What part of Chicago?
Money: South Side.
Atencio: South Side. Tell us a little bit about your parents.
Money: My father was a civil engineer. He had a company that built grain elevators. He was educated at Armour Institute, which later became Illinois Tech in Chicago. A wonderful man, of course.
Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation. It’s February 22, 2017. I have Lionel Ames with me. My first question to him is tell us your full name and spell it, please.
Ames: Lionel Ames, L-I-O-N-E-L, Ames, A-M-E-S.
Kelly: Terrific. First question is to tell us something about yourself: when you were born and where.
Lionel Ames is an Army and Manhattan Project veteran. In this interview, he talks about how his brother Maurice Shapiro, who worked as a scientist at Los Alamos, was able to get him assigned to the top-secret site. Ames recalls his work at Los Alamos in the chemistry lab, and his role as a cantor for the weekly Jewish services. He also discusses daily life at Los Alamos. He concludes by discussing his post-war life as an entertainer.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it is Wednesday, February 22, 2017. I’m in Encino, California. Maybe the first thing is say your name and spell it for us.
William Ginell: Okay. It’s William Seaman, S-E-A-M-A-N, Ginell, G-I-N-E-L-L.
Kelly: Great. Why don’t you start at the beginning? Tell us when you were born and where and a little bit about your childhood.
William Ginell is a physical chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project. In this interview he describes how he became interested in chemistry and his experiences working at Columbia University and Oak Ridge, TN on the gaseous diffusion process. He reflects on the Army, living conditions, and the intense secrecy and security during the project. He also discusses his life after the war, especially his work at Brookhaven, Atomics International, and Douglas Aircraft.
Kelly: Today is Friday, February 3rd, 2017. I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’m here in an installation called “Atomic Time” with its creator, the sculptor and artist Jim Sanborn. My first question to Sanborn is to please say his name and spell it.
Sanborn: All right. I’m Jim Sanborn, S-A-N-B-O-R-N. I’m the maker of this installation that I began sometime in 1998 and concluded in 2004, although I added pieces over the years, added more stuff over the years.
Jim Sanborn is an American sculptor known for works such as “Kryptos” at the CIA Headquarters in McLean, VA.
In this interview, Sanborn discusses his exhibit “Atomic Time,” which is now on display at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, NM. The installation recreates the Manhattan Project scientists’ experiments at Los Alamos to determine when plutonium would go “critical” in an atomic bomb. Sanborn explains why he decided to do the project, and how he carefully created each piece of the exhibit.