The Manhattan Project

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

University of Chicago

William Lanouette's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly from the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Friday, April 11, 2014, and I have with me William Lanouette who is going to be talking about Leo Szilard. Why don’t you start by actually saying your full name and spelling it? 

Bill Lanouette: I’m William Lanouette, L-A-N-O-U-E-T-T-E. 

Kelly: Tell us about Szilard. Who was he? What’s his background? 

Robert Cantrell's Interview

Cindy Kelly: Okay I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation and we are in Mesa, Arizona on June 26, 2013 and with me is Robert or Bob Cantrell. And the first question I have for him is to tell me his name and spell it.

Bob Cantrell: My name as I remember it is Robert Cantrell, R-O-B-E-R-T C-A-N-T-R-E-L-L.

Kelly: And Robert, what year were you born or what was your birth date and where were you born?

Cantrell: I was born January 27, 1921 in Gainesville Texas.

Harold Hasenfus' Interview

I was a member of two Special Engineer Detachments: I worked at the University of Chicago at the Metallurgical Laboratory and I also worked in Oak Ridge Plant, conceived and designed by Philip Abelson, who is probably here today. I lived in the barracks area when I was at Oak Ridge and I lived in an apartment with three other soldiers when I was in Chicago.

Warren Nyer's Interview

[At top is the edited version of the interview published by S. L. Sanger in Working on the Bomb: An Oral History of WWII Hanford, Portland State University, 1995.

For the full transcript that matches the audio of the interview, please scroll down.]

Book version:

Eugene Wigner's Interview (1986)

[Interviewed by S. L. Sanger, from Working on the Bomb: An Oral History of WWII Hanford, Portland State University, 1995]

I shouldn't boast but it is generally said, you see, I was in charge of the group which designed the reactors built at Hanford, and these reactors really worked. Fermi constructed the first nuclear reactor that really was reacting, but it had virtually no energy. And Alvin Weinberg, he designed almost alone the Oak Ridge pilot reactor. But the bigger reactors, we all designed together.

Donald Ames's Interview

Cynthia Kelly: So Don, why don’t you tell us your name and spell it?

Donald Ames: My name is Donald Ames, D-O-N-A-L-D A-M-E-S.

Kelly: Okay, and you should look at me instead of the camera. That’s better. Why don’t you tell us about where you were before the war and how you came to work on the Manhattan Project?

Ames: Okay, I was a farm boy. I went to the University of Wisconsin, where I earned my way through school. Of course, the tuition was only $32 a semester.

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