The Manhattan Project

Oral Histories

Jack Aeby

Jack Aeby's Interview

Jack Aeby was one of the first civilian employees on the Manhattan Project, and captured the only color photograph of the Trinity test. He worked in many areas, starting with transporting people from Lamy to 109 E. Palace Avenue in Santa Fe and then on up the Hill. He was put in charge of the chemical stockroom. Aeby moved to P-5 (Physics Group 5) with Emilio Segrè and Owen Chamberlain. He reactivated the Los Alamos Ranch School’s Boy Scout Troop 22 on demand of the school superintendent. He discusses working with Emilio Segrè at Los Alamos, and how his famous photo of the Trinity test came about.

Steve Buckingham F9 480p 16x9

Steve Buckingham's Interview

Steve Buckingham, a chemist, worked at the Hanford site beginning in 1947. He explains how the B Reactor worked, and applauds the ingenuity of the designers of the T-plant.

Donald Trauger

Donald Trauger's Interview

Donald Trauger became involved in the Manhattan Project at Columbia University, working on the gaseous diffusion process. He discusses the science of isotope separation and also the decision to use the atomic bomb.

Joseph Dykstra

Joe Dykstra's Interview

Joe Dykstra joined the Manhattan Project with Hooker Electrochemical Company at Oak Ridge, working at K-25 on the gaseous diffusion process. He discusses the debate over the bomb and the attitude of those working on the project.

George Mahfouz

George Mahfouz's Interview

George Mahfouz became involved in the Manhattan Project first in Decatur, Illinois building gaseous diffusion tubes for the K-25 plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Later, Mr. Mahfouz was involved in the Dayton Project, working on the process to make the trigger for the atomic bomb.

Graydon Whitman

Graydon Whitman's Interview

Graydon Whitman, who worked in the Y-12 plant at Oak Ridge, speaks about General Leslie R. Groves and his pivotal leadership in the Manhattan Project. Whitman also discusses life at Oak Ridge, from the bus system to the tennis court dances to secrecy and security.

Lucille Whitman

Lucille Whitman's Interview

Lucille Whitman, a native Tennessean, came to work for Tennessee Eastman at Oak Ridge straight out of high school. She tells us about life at Oak Ridge and the secrecy surrounding their work during the Manhattan Project.

Mary Michel

Mary Lowe Michel's Interview

Mary Michel worked at Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project and discusses living in the “Secret City” and the general social scene, also going into safety procedures at the K-25 Plant. She also discusses her reaction to the news of the use of the atomic bombs against the Japanese.

Robert Ellingson

Robert Ellingson's Interview

Robert Ellingson came to work on the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where he met his wife and has lived ever since, and speaks fondly of life and work—he was employed in the Y-12 plant—in the “Secret City.”

Evelyn Ellingson

Evelyn Ellingson's Interview

Evelyn Ellingson describes working as a woman at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, expounding on the security measures but also the vibrant social life of a city populated predominantly by young men and women in their early twenties.

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