The Manhattan Project

Metallurgical Laboratory

Harold Agnew's Interview (1992)

Theresa Strottman: We are talking with Harold Agnew who has worked here [at Los Alamos] during the Manhattan Project and later was Lab Director. And we thank you very much for coming today. Our first question is if you could briefly tell us when and where you were born and something about your education and training.

Max Gittler's Interview

Alexandra Levy: All right, we are here on December 28, 2012 with Max Gittler. Please say your name and spell it.

Max Gittler: Max Gittler, M-a-x G-i-t-t-l-e-r.

Levy: Where are you from?

Gittler: New York, New York City, the Bronx.

Levy: So how did you become involved in the Manhattan Project?

Evelyne Litz's Interview

Alexandra Levy: We’re here on December 28, 2012 with Evelyne Litz. Please say your name and spell it.

Evelyne Litz: Evelyne Litz, E-V-E-L-Y-N-E, L-I-T-Z.

Levy: So where are you from originally?

Litz: Chicago.

Levy: And how did you become involved in the Manhattan Project?

Lawrence Litz's Interview (2012)

Alexandra Levy: All right, we’re here on December 28, 2012 with Lawrence Litz. First please say your name and spell it.

Lawrence Litz: L-A-W – it’s Lawrence Litz, L-A-W-R-E-N-C-E, L-I-T-Z.

Levy: So what was it like working in the war on the Manhattan Project?

Litz: It was very exciting and I felt that I was doing something worthwhile.

Harris Harold Levee's Interview

Harris Harold Levee: My name is Harris Harold Levee, L-e-v-e-e. My birthdate is August 9, 1919. I grew up in Sheepshead Bay doing the—playing a lot of sports, and did go to high school at Brooklyn Technical High School, where I studied to be an engineer. And from Brooklyn Tech, I went to a school called Cooper Union in New York City, which was a school where you had to pass a tremendous examination in order to get into the school because the school was free. All you had to do was pay for your own books.

Kay Manley's Interview

Theresa Strottman:  It’s Saturday, February 15, 1992, approximately 11:28 AM.  We’re interviewing Kay Manley.  We really appreciate your coming here today.   Briefly tell me when and where you were born and something about your education and training.

George Cowan's Interview (2006)

George Cowan: It's weighted so heavily in favor—not in favor of—but the emphasis on number one Los Alamos, and then Oak Ridge, and then Hanford, as the three secret cities or something. But the fact is the Met Lab at Chicago was enormously important. The Stagg Field reactor was historic in ’42, and its sort of dismissed. 

Chicago Met Lab

One of the most important branches of the Manhattan Project was the Metallurgical Laboratory (Met Lab) in Chicago. Using the name "Metallurgical Laboratory" as cover at the University of Chicago, scientists from the east and west coasts were brought together to this central location to develop chain-reacting "piles" for plutonium production, to devise methods for extracting plutonium from the irradiated uranium, and to design a weapon. In all, four methods of plutonium separation were considered, with the bismuth phosphate process displaying the most promise.

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