Philip Abelson: My name is Philip Abelson. I was the son of two Norwegian immigrants. My father was born north of the Arctic Circle, and my mother was born in middle Norway. I visited the birthplaces of both of them. They were very wonderful parents. I couldn’t have had better parents.
Charles Critchfield: Is that your book, by the way?
Richard Rhodes: Yes.
Critchfield: Making of the Atomic Bomb?
Critchfield: I’ve always heard it, Making of the Bomb. No, I didn’t know it was your book. Rubby Sherr sent me that, and he also sent me excerpts from two or three other books on the bomb. Rubby was my main man in my group for making the Initiator.
Charles Critchfield was a mathematical physicist assigned to work on the development of gun-type fission weapons, and eventually implosion-type weapons, at Los Alamos. He returned to Los Alamos in 1952 to work on the development of the hydrogen bomb.
Mary Rockwell: My name is Mary Rockwell. Spell it? M-a-r-y R-o-c-k-w-e-l-l.
Cindy Kelly: Very good. What was your maiden name?
Kelly: And how is that spelled?
Kelly: Okay. Is there a funny story attached with that?
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?
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.
Robert Serber: Ernest [Lawrence] got overexcited about the Russian bomb. I imagine that [Edward] Teller called him and got him worked up. I warned him about Edward’s Super, that it wasn't a practical idea at the moment. I told him if he wanted to really find out he should talk to [Hans] Bethe, but he never did. He was all gung ho for the Super and he immediately went with more or less the action before he thought of what he could do, and the thing to do was to build these reactors to make tritium.
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.
Stephane Groueff: Mr. Gary, what was your job at that time here?
Tom Gary: Head of the design division. The engineering department had five divisions: design, construction, engineering services—that’s a division of consultants and they have young engineer’s resident on many of the DuPont plants. The fourth one was control, which is to take care of the payroll and all of that stuff, sort of like Ashton General in the army. And then the fifth one was the engineering research division. I headed the design division.
Stephane Groueff: You were the secretary for Dr. [Ernest] Lawrence since—
Eleanor Irvine: I came to work in October 1945. I was with him until his death. Then I stayed right along with Dr. [Edwin] McMillan.
Groueff: I see. What was your name then?
Irvine: Eleanor Irvine, I-R-V-I-N-E.
Groueff: I see. How did you meet him?