The Manhattan Project

Stephane Groueff

The Search for Atomic Power

Ed Wood: January 21, 1954 will go down as a significant day in human history. A milestone in man’s scientific progress. For on that day, at Groton, Connecticut, was launched the first nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus, powered by the world’s first atomic engine designed to do useful work. With this achievement, man at last has seen the dawn of the age of atomic power.

Clarence Larson's Interview

Stephane Groueff: Interview with Dr. Clarence Larson—L-A-R-S-O-N—head of the Union Carbide’s operations at Oak Ridge, a chemist. Dr. Larson was connected with the electromagnetic separation process during the war, and he was a personal friend of Dr. Lawrence [Ernest O. Lawrence]. He’s married to the daughter of Dr. Stafford Warren, who was also with the project. You came in 1942?

Dr. Clarence Larson: Yes.

Groueff: From where?

Harry Allen and Robert Van Gemert's Interview

Harry Allen: Mr. Wilson and company set us up a purchase request for a barber chair, because they couldn’t get off work in time to get their hair done.

Robert Van Gemert:  There was only one man cutting hair, I think, up there.

Allen: The barber service was extremely limited, and we just happen to know where there was an old barber chair down in the old engineers’ warehouse. So we sent the truck driver down, and we delivered one barber chair down to the cyclotron building. 

General Kenneth Nichols's Interview - Part 3

General Kenneth Nichols: —found we did not have the authority to satisfy DuPont.

Stephane Groueff: But why did DuPont challenge your authority?

Nichols: Because they had trouble, in World War I, being called munitions makers and investigated after World War I, so they are more conservative than most companies. And they wanted to have in their files copies of our authorities. And what we had, which I have shown you, and that is satisfactory to them.

Groueff: I see.

Colonel Franklin Matthias's Interview (1965) - Part 2

Stephane Groueff: [Enrico] Fermi had the characteristics of a real genius.

Colonel Franklin Matthias: Almost every time you would get in contact with him, something would come up that was impressive. Physically, he was a small man, unimpressive person, but he grew real large when he started talking about things he knew.

Groueff: Was he a friendly person?

Matthias: Yes, warm; very warm, very friendly, a real nice person.

Newton Stapleton's Interview

Stephane Groueff: It is working. Mr. Stapleton, you were with security during the Hanford period, or you were already here with security in DuPont in Wilmington?

Newton Stapleton: I was in the security prior to Hanford. At the beginning of the war, DuPont got involved in building a plant for the French and British down at Memphis, Tennessee. Then as our country became more involved, we got involved in trying to please or satisfy the government from the Air Force, the Army, the Navy, the Coast Guard and everything.

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