Richard Rhodes: There are two particular themes that I am interested in that I know you were involved with very much. Anything else that you remember that you would want to talk about would be wonderful. One is the developing of computing. Los Alamos made a major contribution to the development of computing in the world. The other has to do with the period around the invention of the two-stage thermonuclear weapon. Could you talk about your experience with those things?
Cold War Nuclear Tests
Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and today is Thursday, November 7, 2013, and I have with me Margaret Parsons Bowditch. And my first question to her is to tell me her name and spell it.
Peggy Bowditch: Peggy Bowditch, that is B-o-w-d-i-t-c-h.
Kelly: Thank you. And can you tell me something about who you are, when you were born and where you were born?
Cindy Kelly: Okay, my name is Cindy Kelly and I am in south Denver, Colorado. It's June 25th, 2013. And I'm with Fay Cunningham. But the first thing I'm going to do is ask him to tell us his name and spell it.
Cunningham: Fay Cunningham, F-A-Y, C-U-N-N-I-N-G-H-A-M; it's a good old Scottish name.
Kelly: Hey, the Scots are great. Anyway, tell us something about your background.
Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly with the Atomic Heritage Foundation and it is June 26, 2013 and we are in Rio Verde, Arizona and my first question is please tell us your name and spell it.
Tom Scolman: I am Thomas Scolman, although officially I am Theodore T. Scolman, S-C-O-L-M-A-N, and I Was born October 27, 1926.
I was in the Army drafted, classified for counter-intelligence work for reasons I will never understand. I got into that, investigative work as an enlisted man and after about a year I was commissioned also in counter-intelligence work. I continued there in the 6th service command in Chicago in that kind of work. One day to my surprise I found myself in the main office of the G-2 part of the service command there. A man from Washington was due there, an officer, for unspecified reasons. It happened to be a day on which there was a large meeting elsewhere and a sub
[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.]
Richard Shepard: I’m Richard Shepard, S-H-E-P-A-R-D.
Cindy Kelly: Okay. And now why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you came to the Manhattan—come into the Manhattan Project, and how that happened.
Jay Wechsler: Well, my mother was visiting her folks in New York when she decided that it was time, and I was the first child, and I guess she was a little surprised. So I was born in New York even though we didn’t live there. And as soon as we were able we were back in New Jersey, where she and my father lived. My father was a chemist and even at a young age he was always taking me into the plant where he worked, showing me things. And I kind of had a mechanical bend or bent.
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.