The Manhattan Project

Life in the Secret Cities

Gerhart Friedlander's Interview

Gerhart Friedlander: My name is Gerhart Friedlander.

Interviewer: What was your role in the Manhattan Project?

Friedlander: I got into the Manhattan Project very early; in fact, before there was an official Manhattan Project. I was a graduate student at Berkeley at the University of California. My thesis advisor was Glenn Seaborg, who later on got a Nobel Prize and became chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, but at that time he was just a new instructor and I was his first graduate student. 

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. 

Peter Lax's Interview

Cindy Kelly: My name is Cindy Kelly with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is January 8, 2016, and I am in New York City with Peter Lax. My first question for him is to say his name and spell it.

Peter Lax: Peter Lax, spelled L-A-X.

Kelly: Great, thank you. So I would love to have you talk, just a little bit anyway, about your childhood and your parents.

Sir Rudolf Peierls's Interview

Martin Sherwin: This is Martin Sherwin. I'll be interviewing Sir Rudolf Peierls at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Today's date is June 6th, 1979. 

You first met [J.Robert] Oppenheimer in Zurich in 1929?

Rudolf Peierls: Right, yes.

Sherwin: At that time, I think you mentioned you were working with [Wolfgang] Pauli's group?

Peierls: Yeah.

Sherwin: Who else was there in that group?

Bill Hudgins's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly. It is October 14, 2015. We’re in in Los Alamos, New Mexico and my first question for the gentleman with me is to tell me your name and spell it.

Bill Hudgins: William G. Hudgins. W-I-L-L-I-A-M. G stands for Gordon. Hudgins. H-U-D-G-I-N-S.

Kelly: First, could you start by telling us when you were born and where, and something about your childhood?

Walter Goodman's Interview

Walter Goodman: My name is Walter Goodman and I was born in 1922, which is a very long time ago. I was particularly interested in engineering and in the military from the time I was a young boy. When I did get into the service, I ended up continuing in school, and finished electrical engineering.

Jack Keen's Interview

Jack Keen: My father was an engineering draftsman at Hanford. I was—depending on what the months were—probably three or four years old.

Richard Rhodes: When you went there?

Keen: Right, when I lived there in one of those big, duplex houses. My mother, father and I lived in those duplexes for a time when I was a little kid.

Rhodes: What was his name?

Keen: His name was Lester Orlan, O-R-L-A-N, Keen, K-E-E-N.

Rhodes: And what was your mother’s name?


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