Groueff: Hello? Hello? Recording, San Francisco, Berkeley, February 9, 1965.
Corporate Involvement in the Manhattan Project
Gilbert Church: During the construction period there were several fellows that I could suggest you see. One of them would be Phil Gardner, for example. He was a recruiter on the road, and that was one of the biggest problems that we had, was getting manpower. He would know all the detail of that. So would Buster Harris, Bill Taylor—they were associated with the operation of the camp on Burton on a day-in day-out basis.
Stephane Groueff: Is there a movie about Hanford?
Sir Hugh Taylor: I had been requested by the British Government to find out certain things. They wanted, for example, to know whether they could use this thing and the General Electric Company made it available to them on the condition that their affiliate in England was entrusted with the responsibility of supplying it. It was the British Thomson-Houston Company [in] Rugby.
Then another job that I did for them, I got the Shell Oil Company in California to give me—
Stephane Groueff: Shell Oil.
Groueff: And so you have the tank. You have all these military things. And then you finally got the atomic bomb.
Groueff: What date did [General Leslie] Groves come to you?
Keller: That is all in the book.
Groueff: That was in ’43.
Keller: You will get that all out of the book.
Stephane Groueff: Hello, recording January 19, 1965, Florida, Coral Gables. Mr. Hobbs, H-O-B-B-S.
J.C. Hobbs: I was born in West Virginia, just west of Pittsburgh up in the panhandle. My father and mother were both educators and in 1893 I was five years old, we came to Florida. He was an educator and also an Evangelist. We stopped in Northern Florida around Umatilla and Mt. Dora and Orlando, that area, for three years and then in ’96 we came into Miami.
Groueff: He was a school teacher?
Keller: My father was a very poor boy. And, in fact, their family had been broken up when he was eleven years of age. And he was indentured to a Mennonite preacher farmer in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania who raised him. And when he was twenty, he went into business as a horse dealer in the town.
Groueff: Your father was a poor man?
Groueff: And not educated?
Groueff: We could start now with your biography and where you were born. I see that you were born in Cleveland.
General Kenneth Nichols: Well, I was born in a little suburb of Cleveland called West Park, Ohio [on November 13, 1907].
Groueff: West Park, Ohio.
Nichols: Later became a part of Cleveland.
Stephane Groueff: So I think the best thing is just talk. So if you want to start from the beginning and tell me a little bit about yourself, Dr. Wheeler, and where you come from and a few words about your career, and how you happen to get involved with the atomic project.
John Wheeler: Well I would say that my most important decision I ever took was to go to work with Niels Bohr. I remember writing the fellowship application when I was twenty-one years old to go to work with him because—
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it's Monday, September 8, 2014. I’m at the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, with David Kaiser. The first thing I’d like him to do is tell us his name and spell it.
David Kaiser: My name is David Kaiser. The last name is K-A-I-S-E-R.
Kelly: Great. And tell us your role here at MIT.
Irénée du Pont: My name is Irénée du Pont, Junior. I-R-E-N-E-E D-U P-O-N-T, J-R. I was born January 8, 1920, and I have not died yet.
Cindy Kelly: Well, that is something that we are all very grateful for. It is wonderful to be here today. I am Cindy Kelly, it is August 11, 2014, and we are in the gracious home of Irénée du Pont, Jr. And we are here to learn a little bit more about his life and the company who shares his name. So maybe we can start with your life.