The Manhattan Project

Working Conditions

Roger Rohrbacher

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. 

Rex Edward Keller's Interview

Alexandra Levy: All right. We are here on April 23, 2015 with Mr. Rex Edward Keller. So first, can you please say your name and spell it.

Rex Keller: Oh, Rex Edward Keller, R-E-X E-D-W-A-R-D, Keller, K-E-L-L-E-R.

Levy: Can you tell me where and when you were born?

Keller: I was born in Saxton, Missouri, October 10, 1923.

Levy: And you grew up in Missouri?

Keller: Yes, yes, in Dexter, Missouri.

Irwin P. Sharpe's Interview

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.

Murray Peshkin's Interview

Murray Peshkin:  Well, how did I get involved in the Manhattan Project? I was an undergraduate student at Cornell University. A group of about ten, who were studying physics. It was clear that we could not be kept out of the Army very long. They were looking for programs in which we could serve usefully. I really believed that there was something else behind it.

Murray Peshkin

Murray Peshkin is a Manhattan Project veteran and a physicist. He was recruited by the Army to assist the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos when he was an undergraduate student studying physics at Cornell.

Hans Courant's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation and this is Friday, April 10, 2015. We’re at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. I have Hans Courant with me, and the first question for him is please tell us your name and spell it.

Hans Courant: My name is Hans Courant, and it’s spelled C-o-u-r-a-n-t. It’s French for running, Courant, c’est moi.

Kelly: Right. So, are you a runner?

John Mench's Interview

Mench: I am John Mench and sixty years ago I was a young man with a wife and a baby girl, a good job in industrial deferment, a brand new home and a mortgage. Inside of a week or two, I had in my hand a ticket to a camp, an Army camp, an industrial deferment that was cancelled. I still had a wife and a baby daughter but they were now living with my wife’s sister, and my home was rented. The only thing that hadn’t changed was the mortgage.

Marge Shipley's Interview

Marge Shipley: As for housing, men would come too, because they would feel that they would get sent for their wives.

Shirely Tawse: What would you do then, take it up with the Tennessee Eastman?

Shipley: I would take it up with Eastman and do what I could. I’d quiet them down if I could. If I saw no reason for their squawks and thought I couldn’t do any better, I’d try to be as diplomatic as I could. I never was cross with anyone.

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