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Oral-History:Kenneth T. Bainbridge

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Before that, John D. Cockcroft had come from England with the Tizard Mission, some time around the end of September. At that time, I was up in New Hampshire. I was a close friend of Cockcroft because of my year and a quarter in England at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge.  
 
Before that, John D. Cockcroft had come from England with the Tizard Mission, some time around the end of September. At that time, I was up in New Hampshire. I was a close friend of Cockcroft because of my year and a quarter in England at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge.  
  
After this meeting in Washington, I think I only went to two Microwave Committee meetings. At one, in Washington, there were representatives of Raytheon, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Westinghouse, General Electric (I guess it was Metcalf). Then I didn't see them again until I came back from England, in 1941. I didn't see them as a group. But there was a meeting. Cockcroft told me he was coming, and I met him in Boston. It was a meeting of the Tizard Mission. They came over just about that same time. Henry Tizard went on to Washington; he wasn't in the meeting that I was at. But Alfred Loomis invited Cockcroft, E. G. Bowen, Lt. Col. F. C. Wallace, and me out to his wife's residence in Dedham, Mass. I'm not sure who else was at that meeting at Loomis's house in Dedham, Mass.  
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After this meeting in Washington, I think I only went to two Microwave Committee meetings. At one, in Washington, there were representatives of [[Raytheon]], Bell Telephone Laboratories, Westinghouse, General Electric (I guess it was Metcalf). Then I didn't see them again until I came back from England, in 1941. I didn't see them as a group. But there was a meeting. Cockcroft told me he was coming, and I met him in Boston. It was a meeting of the Tizard Mission. They came over just about that same time. Henry Tizard went on to Washington; he wasn't in the meeting that I was at. But Alfred Loomis invited Cockcroft, E. G. Bowen, Lt. Col. F. C. Wallace, and me out to his wife's residence in Dedham, Mass. I'm not sure who else was at that meeting at Loomis's house in Dedham, Mass.  
  
 
I was living in Cambridge at the time and drove out there for the meeting. The Tizard Mission group was on its way to New York City to show the magnetron at the Bell Telephone Laboratories, and I guess they were making a tour of the American companies that were in on the Microwave Committee. It was quite exciting to see this gadget, the cavity magnetron.  
 
I was living in Cambridge at the time and drove out there for the meeting. The Tizard Mission group was on its way to New York City to show the magnetron at the Bell Telephone Laboratories, and I guess they were making a tour of the American companies that were in on the Microwave Committee. It was quite exciting to see this gadget, the cavity magnetron.  

Revision as of 14:29, 7 March 2014

Contents

About Kenneth T. Bainbridge

Bainbridge came from a family interested in science and engineering, and took an early interest in radio, chemistry, etc., but he ended up going to Princeton for his PhD in physics. After some postdoctoral fellowships in the early 1930s, including a Guggenheim to England in 1933-34, he became a physics professor at Harvard in 1934. Acquainted with Ernst Lawrence via their common research in cyclotrons, Lawrence recruited him for the MIT Radiation Laboratory in 1940. From the beginning we was doing administrative tasks—he arranged housing for incoming scientists, recruited more scientists, and headed up the modulator group. Since he had been to Britain already, and knew many of the scientists, he was sent to Britain on mission, to report on British radar and nuclear work. Bainbridge comments, inter alia, on the interaction process between the Rad Lab and the Navy—he found it relatively straightforward, efficient, and informal, in comparison to Army style, both in relation to the Rad Lab, and in the Army’s running of Los Alamos. He also talks about the process of “selling” the services on new inventions. He then was detailed to Los Alamos, partly because of his experience as a scientist who knew how to interact efficiently with the military.

About the Interview

KENNETH T. BAINBRIDGE: An Interview Conducted by John Bryant, IEEE History Center, 10 June 1991

Interview # 73 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Copyright Statement

This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.

Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8538 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:

Kenneth T. Bainbridge, an oral history conducted in 1991 by John Bryant, IEEE History Center, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

Interview

Interview: Kenneth T. Bainbridge

Interviewer: John Bryant

Date: 10 June 1991 Location: Weston, Massachusetts

Family Background and Education

Bryant:

I'm with Kenneth T. Bainbridge in his home at 5 Nobscot Road in Weston, Massachusetts, to work on the IEEE Center for History Oral History Project on the MIT Radiation Laboratory. Dr. Bainbridge, may I start by asking you to give us some background, perhaps about your family and why you chose to become a scientist?

Bainbridge:

I was brought up in New York City. I had two uncles who were interested in engineering. Uncle George was an inventor, and Uncle Jack, who was younger, studied engineering and got his degree from Stevens Institute of Technology. Uncle George had worked on switching and safety devices for the soon-to-be-built New York subway. As a youngster, I inherited Lionel tracks with engines and so on, which had been owned by my uncle. He had a bright idea about a block system, but he didn't think of the idea — Westinghouse did — of putting the brake air pressure supply through the trigger rod, which hit the toggle. In the case of his equipment, if the rod broke off, the train would go on and crash. But in the case of the Westinghouse system, if the trigger broke off, it would stop the train.

I got interested in radio just after World War I — I was born in 1904 — and lived on Riverside Drive at 158th Street in New York City. The street ran down to some docks, and when the fleet came back after the war, they used the 158th Street docks as one of their landing points. I had a radio with an antenna on the roof. The antenna and ground were connected across the vibrating contacts, which energized a commercial ultraviolet unit. I must have violated every bandwidth law. But the radio operators on the ships who came up saw this antenna and would knock on the door. It turned out that they had 5-watt tubes — I guess they were Western Electric platinum filament tubes, triodes, which they would be happy to sell for a couple of dollars before they went downtown. It wasn't very legal, I guess. I must have been 14 or so.

I remember meeting Lee De Forest. He had a factory and laboratory in New York at Highbridge. With these vacuum tubes I'd set up a 5-watt telephone, talked to a lot of people and got a license, call letters 2WN. There was one fellow — Ed Schmidt — who was a victim of infantile paralysis, but he was a bug on radio. He told me about De Forest being anxious to buy some of these 5-watt tubes because he wanted to make an oscillator. I went up there, and De Forest had a dump with thousands of tubes, tubulated with filament and so on. Something like the old 199s. And so I filled my pockets with those before I went home. I set up a mercury pump and pumped the tubes out and essentially had thyratrons because I didn't get all of the air out, and there was mercury vapor too, and they would arc sometimes. This was fun. It got me interested in radio, but when I left to go to college — to MIT — in 1921, I gave up all that radio stuff.

Let's see, you asked me how I'd gotten started in engineering?

Bryant:

How you became a scientist or an engineer, or both.

Bainbridge:

I got interested in chemistry and had a Chemcraft set and was making things right and left. When I went to Tech, I took a course in electrical engineering which was a cooperative course with General Electric Company, where you worked at Tech for five years, got an SB and an SM. Then you could go into the engineering department at General Electric. If you took an SB degree, you had to have three years as a test man, testing their equipment before they shipped it out. This looked good to me, that with one extra year at Tech, I could go directly into GE's engineering department even though it meant working year round. They started us off in the sophomore year to go to the Lynn plant. You could go to Lynn, Schenectady, Pittsfield, different General Electric plants. Or, if you took another option, you could work with Stone & Webster or with the Massachusetts streetcar — MTA. It wasn't until later that the Bell Laboratories came in on this thing. But the General Electric option was interesting, and it was mainly at Lynn and Schenectady.

I got interested in physics through my connections in Schenectady when I worked there as a test man for GE. I met people in the research laboratory — Director Willis R. Whitney, and Howard Jones who was a chemist, and Saul Dushman who was a physicist working there. By that time I was a little less interested in General Electric Company because of some things which had happened which I didn't particularly admire. And they said, "Well, if you're interested in physics, Princeton's the place to go." Karl T. Compton [who was head of the physics department at Princeton] had a consulting job with General Electric on conduction of electricity in gases. So I finally, with my best friend, Tom Killian, applied to Princeton. We were admitted, although Dean West pretended to be shocked. He said, "You're nice boys, but it's too bad you never went to college." That's how I got started on the physics side of things.

Origin of Radar Work

Bryant:

Skipping down, when and under what circumstances were you first made aware of the then-secret subject of radar?

Bainbridge:

I was first made aware of it when Ernest O. Lawrence came to Cambridge, Massachusetts, I think it was late September 1940. I'd known him because I'd been in charge of constructing a cyclotron at Harvard, and this naturally led to a friendship with Lawrence. I had come to Harvard as an assistant professor in September 1934. We went out and walked around the Yard. We didn't sit down any place, we just walked around, and he told me about radar and that there was going to be a meeting in Washington DC in another week or so, where I could see one. He asked if I could come down. I think it was to be around October 8th or 9th, something like that. So I went down there, and found that it was quite a high-level group.

I was doing good work in physics at the time, and I knew Karl T. Compton because he'd been head of the department and professor at Princeton. I knew Vannevar Bush because he was Dean of Graduate Studies when I was a graduate student at MIT. And I knew Lawrence through the cyclotron. So I went to Washington, and there were Bush, James B. Conant, Lawrence, and I think Alfred Loomis. That's all. We went to the Naval Research Laboratory and met Dr. A. Hoyt Taylor and Dr. R. M. Page, and that's when I first saw radar. Actually saw one. Lawrence had described it to me, but this was fantastic because they had a radar there. I don't know what the wavelength was; it wasn't the 10-meter, or 100-meter stuff; it was much shorter wavelength than that.

It picked up a plane 50 miles away, coming into Bolling Field across the river. The display was from left to right for the first 25 miles, then the pip dropped down and from right to left for the next 25 miles. [Chuckling] But then once you saw what it was, you could look out the window and there the damned thing was approaching north of Washington and coming into Bolling Field. I guess Page was the man in the laboratory actually working on this, and Taylor was the superintendent and head man who appreciated everything that Page was doing. It was a tremendous thrill. In your imagination you could sort of see dogfights and directing planes. I didn't see any dogfights or long-range sensing of planes. Anyhow, this was very thrilling being down there.

Before that, John D. Cockcroft had come from England with the Tizard Mission, some time around the end of September. At that time, I was up in New Hampshire. I was a close friend of Cockcroft because of my year and a quarter in England at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge.

After this meeting in Washington, I think I only went to two Microwave Committee meetings. At one, in Washington, there were representatives of Raytheon, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Westinghouse, General Electric (I guess it was Metcalf). Then I didn't see them again until I came back from England, in 1941. I didn't see them as a group. But there was a meeting. Cockcroft told me he was coming, and I met him in Boston. It was a meeting of the Tizard Mission. They came over just about that same time. Henry Tizard went on to Washington; he wasn't in the meeting that I was at. But Alfred Loomis invited Cockcroft, E. G. Bowen, Lt. Col. F. C. Wallace, and me out to his wife's residence in Dedham, Mass. I'm not sure who else was at that meeting at Loomis's house in Dedham, Mass.

I was living in Cambridge at the time and drove out there for the meeting. The Tizard Mission group was on its way to New York City to show the magnetron at the Bell Telephone Laboratories, and I guess they were making a tour of the American companies that were in on the Microwave Committee. It was quite exciting to see this gadget, the cavity magnetron.

Bryant:

That was how long after you'd seen the NRL radar equipment?

Bainbridge:

That was certainly within two weeks. I had sort of a busy time then. I was teaching at Harvard, but in October I got permission from the chairman to say goodbye to Harvard because Compton and the Microwave Committee had said, "You take a look at MIT and see if you can find any place where we can start a laboratory. And also take a look at the hotels. Look at the Commander and the Continental hotels and see if you can find enough rooms because there's going to be this conference on Applied Nuclear Physics, and we think some of these people are going to stay on." So I went to the Commander and the Continental hotels. John C. Slater told me that MIT had just bought an apartment house on the Charles River and I should look at that as a place to put people.

When I. I. Rabi of Columbia University came up to see what the fun was, I met him at Back Bay and drove him up to this apartment house. I said I'd never been there, and "I don't know what it's like. But there's a room reserved for you, and I'm taking you there." This was a place that Tech had just bought. They hadn't emptied it out at all, but there were a few places that were vacant. And it was terrible. The smell of food in the corridors! The dirt in the corridors! The whole place! Imagine taking Rabi there! I promised to get him the next morning. Got him out of there and got a more respectable place in the Commander Hotel for him. I shouldn't have mentioned this to Slater, but Slater was the guy who was pushing this apartment house. He represented the Department of Physics of MIT, and he was trying to feed into MIT's facilities.

Bryant:

He was the head of the physics department at MIT, I believe.

Bainbridge:

I think probably he was. When he left Harvard, they selected me to take his place. Now I'm an experimentalist and only partly a theorist. He's 100 percent theorist. [Chuckling] I was not a clone in any sense of the word. Conant also wanted the department of physics to get into new fields of research. J. C. Street in cosmic rays and myself in nuclear physics were chosen.

Bryant:

Did you also take a trip to the Signal Corps Engineering Labs at Ft. Monmouth?

Organization of Rad Lab

Bainbridge:

Yes, I think that was considerably later. I was at the Radiation Lab from before it started in October 1940, and then in March 1941 I went to England. They kept me busy with the hotel business, finding places for these people to stay, and recruiting people. My main responsibility was heading the modulator group.

Bryant:

Was the Applied Nuclear Physics Conference sponsored by American Institute of Physics or was it an independent organization?

Bainbridge:

It was sponsored by the American Institute of Physics. I have a copy of a page from the 64-page conference program for you here.

Bryant:

I've been trying to find this.

Bainbridge:

I have the front page here for you. I was chairman of one of the sessions and went down there, but most of that week I spent at Harvard. There were dinners every night discussing how the Radiation Laboratory might work and so on. The original idea was that the people who stayed behind and the local boys from Harvard and MIT would take a piece of the problem, go back to their universities and work on their piece of the problem there: one guy on modulators, one on receivers, another on antennas, oscillators and so on. And then they'd come back and meld these things together.

It soon appeared that this was a much tougher, more complicated job, and that to farm out the system was not the way to do it. So the decision was made, and some of these people didn't see their home base for some months. The idea was, "okay, you can stay," and there were different groups. Ours was modulator and power supply. Alexander J. Allen, I think, was antennas. Louis A. Turner may have been receivers and Robert F. Bacher something else. So, that's the way it started as far as the formation of the laboratory at that time was concerned. Lee A. DuBridge had been brought in as director — probably the decision was made in early October.

I think Alfred L. Loomis was appointed by Compton as head of the Microwave Committee because Loomis had been working on a Doppler microwave system at Tuxedo Park. This gave him an entré to the field. He had been thinking about it and so on. A very bright guy. Then various people came from the universities. Jerome B. Wiesner didn't come in until considerably later. I think Jerrold Zacharias came fairly early in the game. Rabi recruited his friends [at Columbia] and rightly so. I mean, Zacharias, and later Wiesner and, let's see, all the engineering and design of mounts were the responsibility of Michael B. Karelitz.

Bryant:

The Five-Year Book was redone, you're getting a copy of it.

Bainbridge:

Oh, good.

Bryant:

It's got a few things that were x-ed out of the 1945 issue for security reasons. It's also got a section out of E. G. Bowen's book on the Tizard Mission.

Bainbridge:

Oh, good. I have never seen that. I would be happy to see it.

Alfred Loomis and Other Key Personnel

Bryant:

Can we back up a minute to Alfred Loomis's lab in Tuxedo New York. Frank Lewis, who did the flight testing for Bowles on the blind landing work at MIT and then worked at Loomis's laboratory, told me that Loomis understood full well the need for pulsed radar. But he had been shown American radar and therefore was not able to start a pulsed radar without getting a facility clearance. So Loomis had to bide his time with the Doppler system, just to show the principles. Otherwise, he would have worked on pulsed radar. But that's just a side point.

Bainbridge:

My comment on that is that pulsed radar was only possible at centimeter wavelengths if you had something like the miracle tube, the cavity magnetron, which had high efficiency to convert DC to 10 centimeter stuff, completely beyond the range of any triode or tetrode.

I gave MIT an autographed picture of the magnetron, the same picture which appears in here. Randall and Boot signed it when I was in England, and I carefully wore it in my money belt.

Bryant:

Back to the start of MIT Radiation Lab. Condon, from Westinghouse, was there for a short time. He went on and became head of National Bureau of Standards. Do you remember him?

Bainbridge:

Oh, I knew him very well, yes.

Bryant:

He had a badge at MIT Radiation Lab for a short time.

Bainbridge:

Yes, he went to Westinghouse or to Corning? Corning was after the war, I guess. He went out to Los Alamos, and he and Groves were just the opposite of each other and grated on each other.

Bryant:

From your view, what were Alfred L. Loomis' main contributions prior to October 1940?

Bainbridge:

I know he had a physics laboratory in Tuxedo Park. I know that he invited leading physicists to come there and work. I am just not sure how much he contributed to the physics research. I know Joe Boyce, who got his degree at Princeton and later went to MIT and worked for Compton, was there. Kistiakowsky went there. I don't know of others.

Bryant:

And the operation of Radiation Laboratory, was Alfred Loomis around?

Bainbridge:

If you ask, was he around where I could see him, no. But at the Radiation Lab before I left in 1943 to go to Los Alamos, most of my life was spent up on the second story of the building, which was added to the Building 8, I guess it was then the physics wing of MIT. This was a place where people would come if they wanted to see a 10-centimeter radar with a large antenna — 8-foot antenna, or something — operating. That's where we tested out the SM and the SCR-615 radars, and so on, and the SCR-584 radar. But I did not see him.

Bryant:

Edward L. Bowles had an office at MIT, but was never an employee of Rad Lab, was he?

Bainbridge:

No. I think he died a couple of years ago, didn't he? I know I went to his house with some author from Australia who wanted to talk to us together, so I went to Bowles' house with him. I think Bowles played an important role in his connections with Washington and his connections with MIT, but I don't think he was very active at the Laboratory.

Bryant:

Other key people?

Bainbridge:

You say key people, the people that I think had tremendous influence on the laboratory? One was Van Bush, Vannevar Bush. One was Wheeler Loomis. Wheeler Loomis was a very strong character, and he made Washington behave. They were afraid of him in Washington. And Lee DuBridge. They were the local powers. Rabi, of course, was head of the Advanced Development Section. His group included Edward M. Purcell, Norman F. Ramsey and others. I think it was Bowles who may have helped get Ramsey a sort of a liaison position with Stimson in Washington. I think Bowles could operate at that level.

Mission to Britain

Bryant:

I notice that James B. Conant went to England rather early in '41, and you went a short time after that. Was there any connection in that?

Bainbridge:

Have you read Conant's book?

Bryant:

No.

Bainbridge:

It's quite amusing when he talks about his trip to England. To me it's amusing

Bryant:

I'll read it and make reference to it.

Bainbridge:

The situation was this: The British wanted cooperation with the United States. The reason the Tizard Mission came over with the magnetron, among other things, was they were threatened by invasion. They did not want one of their major secrets to fall into the hands of the Germans and be lost to the United States. That was one reason they came over. They were not holding back on anything, and they were very generous in a sense. It was a matter of survival. Conant had been made head of the NDRC when Bush created the OSRD. I may be wrong in my dates here. I don't think OSRD really started until '41.

Anyhow, this was part of the program that the British had requested — exchange of information. And Conant went to Great Britain. Harriman was there, as ambassador, wasn't he? And Fred Hovde went over as a representative of the NDRC and had an office there.

I was selected I think partly because I'd been playing around with a modulator, and I was familiar with the work done on the completed sets on the roof, and so on. There was no SCR-615 at that time, but there was a small 3-foot dish radar that they put on destroyers, which was one of the first ones built. Anyhow, part of the reason was that I'd been to England. I was known by the British. I'd been at Cavendish. This helped solve the spy problem. If I said I was Bainbridge, and I looked like Bainbridge, then I was Bainbridge, and I didn't have to have someone trot around with me. This was part of it. At that time I was brighter, quicker, younger and of higher standing in science than I am now. [Chuckling] That was one reason I was selected. It was fun going over there. Do you want me to talk about the British trip?

Bryant:

Yes, why don't you lead off and tell what you want to tell. Why don't we talk about the British trip? I think it's highly important.

Bainbridge:

I won't tell about the adventures in getting over there, but there were some. Finally, they fly you from Lisbon to Bristol by DC-3 with everything removed from the DC-3 except the engine and the gasoline. [Laughter] It was certainly a stripped-down plane with only the altimeters in it. Once we got to England, they pulled down the shades and dropped to sea level as they went up the Bristol Channel. When we got to Bristol, we couldn't go further that day because the Germans were bombing the railroads where they leave London. The underground tunnels come out of London, and that's where they were, trying to get the trains and break up the track. So we stayed in Bath the first night. There we found Warren Weaver and Edward Poitras. Warren Weaver worked on applied mathematics, Ed Poitras on proximity fuses. Weaver had been head of the Guggenheim, or Rockefeller. I'm not sure which. [It was the Rockefeller.]

The next day we got to London, and the thing to do was to go to the American Embassy, get a tin hat, meet the people there and go to whatever meetings they planned. We got there several days late, so we missed some interesting meetings such as going down to Dover and so on. But the boat was held up, and we couldn't get the first plane out of Lisbon. Anyhow, once in England, I was put up at the Grosvenor Square Hotel. Weaver and Poitras were in one room; I was in the other.

The base for reporting things was the embassy. If we went out on a trip to get information, we were meant to put any notes into a money belt, come back to the embassy, go into the code room, take the stuff out of your money belt, and give it to the clerk there who would put it in some safe place. Then later you'd have to come in and transmit the stuff. They would code it and transmit it by either radio or cable, or, in some cases, they would just simply put it on a returning ship if it wasn't very important to get it there fast.

The first night in London, Cockcroft invited the three of us — Poitras, Weaver and myself — to dinner at the Connaught Hotel, which was very nice. We got there before dark, about twilight, and had a delicious dinner in spite of war and rationing and so on. When we started to go home, the doorman said, "Pardon me, sir, there's a raid on." The Germans were firebombing London. They didn't have much high explosive stuff that night, but they were firebombing. Cockcroft had no tin hat. He borrowed mine later that night to go home with. He said, "I know the way." Well, we wandered around from the Connaught back to our hotel. The next day I found out we'd gone a couple of blocks off the path. [Chuckling] Then we talked up in our rooms — let's see, just about the uppermost floor in the hotel. The top floor they would rent daytimes to government offices. The next floor would be rented to foreigners and visiting Elks. The next floor would be regular residents of the hotel. It was a concrete hotel, but it was no good against the bombs the Germans were using. We talked until it was time for Cockcroft to leave, and he asked to borrow my hat so he could drive back to his digs. So off my hat went. I got it back about three weeks later. [Chuckling] That didn't matter much because there was no bombing directly where I was. The hotel had a bomb shelter, which was the ballroom. There wasn't much protection to it. They were renting beds in the ballroom around the gallery level for another guinea or something. In case of a raid you could go there and be a little bit safer.

Anyhow, we started touring around the British laboratories. It was interesting that they used every available space they could get. I remember at one place there was an estate with a tremendous deer park. Here were all these beautiful deer wandering around. Inside the building it was old; it must have gone back hundreds of years. You'd go up two steps into a hallway, then up two steps into a room and down one step into another. It was a rabbit warren, but this was a place where they were doing research on radar. I also visited the companies.

I went to these places to meet people and find out what they were doing. I had clearance for all of this, so I went around on these various visits and saw everything I could. One of the most valuable things I got, I think, was something which W. B. Lewis had done, and this was a study of the radar cross-section of planes for different wavelengths. No one on the American side had done anything like that up to that point. Lewis gave me a copy of his report. I also went around to the radar — or RDF I guess they called it — laboratories. At one place they were working on a radar to help pick up planes for searchlights. Another one would be working on an air-interception from plane to plane. Another one would be working on a ground-controlled interception. I went around to these places and took careful notes on all the wavelengths and so on. I think this was very valuable because no one had thought about that in the United States. The visit also brought up the idea of chaff, of dropping aluminum foil strips to confuse the enemy radar. The Germans had pretty good radar. Maybe it was 40 centimeters wavelength, something like that. It was good. And this chaff would produce enough reflections to make it difficult for them to zero in on an aircraft.

Bryant:

Did you write a report on this trip?

Bainbridge:

I wrote a report to Bush, and I found it a couple of weeks ago. I reported on all the things that I'd discussed while I was there. The British wanted someone [American] permanently over there — not just exchanging back and forth. They wanted someone sitting there.

I also reported on their atomic bomb work orally on my return to the U. S. Cockcroft invited me to a meeting of the MAUD Committee. G.P. Thompson, I think, was chairman of the committee. Here were people I'd met while I was in England before: G.P. Thompson, P.M.S. Blackett, Cockcroft, and M.L. Oliphant. I'm not sure about P. I. Dee. But here were a bunch of physicists from Cavendish and London who were in on this, and Cockcroft did this on his own responsibility. I'd been cleared for radar; I'd been cleared for Signal Corps work, but I had not been brought into the nuclear project, except I'd worked on it on my own at Harvard in 1938. Before fission was discovered, I was working on separating isotopes. I'd built up a Hevesy isotope separator. I had a theory of a way of separating isotopes using a Holveck pump, which is simply a cylinder rotating at hellishly high speed with close clearances and helical grooves around the stator. This is a very effective pump. I did a theory on what it would do to separate isotopes. When Uranium fission was discovered, U235 was the fissionable material. If you wanted to concentrate that — it's only present to 0.7 percent — you could do it with a pump like this. The light isotope, the one you want, would congregate more at the low-pressure end, and the heavy stuff would be at the high-pressure end. So you had a separating device. I told this to George B. Kistiakowsky and Bright Wilson. Wilson did an exact theory of this thing, which was not as optimistic as my crude theory, and we tested it. We got a Holveck pump from Alfred Loomis. Kisty (Kistiakowsky) had been with Alfred Loomis, and I asked him if he could get this pump from Loomis, which he did. I don't think it's ever been returned. Loomis never wanted it back after all. Anyhow, it was set up in the chemistry building and Kisty was put in charge. He got someone to help him run the damn thing. Wilson did the precise theory. I had a mass spectrometer to measure how much separation it produced. The separation of the argon isotopes came out according to Wilson's theory. So we had a theory, and we had a way of testing it, and so on. Then Kisty went to Washington, DC to sell this to the government. He went to the Navy, and they said, "Well, boys, just relax. We've got people working on this sort of thing. You just go back and forget about it." They pushed us off! So we quit on that.

Bryant:

Back in England, did you get to Oliphant's lab at Birmingham?

Bainbridge:

Yes.

Bryant:

Were you only shown the radar part, or did you get to talk with Oliphant about the work of Frisch and Peierls?

Bainbridge:

No, I didn't get to talk about that until this meeting of the MAUD Committee that I mentioned.

Bryant:

Were Warren Weaver and Ed Poitras with you?

Bainbridge:

No, they had separate itineraries. I was pretty much in the hands of scheduling made by Cockcroft. He had his family in — Southwick is all I can think of — towards the south. He was on the go. Remarkable vitality. He was on the go every minute because they'd given him a lot of responsibility. They'd given him [Army] radar, and even though Chadwick was in charge of the fission work, I think a large part of that was Cockcroft's too.

Bryant:

So Cockcroft was working in both radar and nuclear studies too.

Bainbridge:

Yes, later he went to Canada and helped to set up the Chalk River laboratory.

Bryant:

What could you tell us about Oliphant's lab in Birmingham? Did you meet Henry Boot and John Randall when you were there?

Bainbridge:

Yes, I met Boot and Randall and got their picture autographed. I have the original that they gave me, and then I had a copy made, which I gave to the MIT Museum. If I find mine, I'll make a copy for you.

Effect in America of British Work

Bryant:

Very good. Now, while we're on the subject of your trip, what effect do you think it may have had on the activities here?

Bainbridge:

I think the report of W.B. Lewis's helped as far as the anti-radar [electronic countermeasures] laboratory at Harvard is concerned — figured out what chaff ought to look like and so on. Of course that was pretty simple. I think it helped that the cooperation hadn't held anything back. I think it was helpful to the Americans to realize that the British were in there 100 percent, and it was helpful to the British to know that we were behind them. C.D. Ellis, who'd been at the Cavendish, Laboratory, was working on the proximity fuse. I stayed at his house in Bristol on one of the trips. Cooperation pepped things up, and then this report to Bush encouraged the exchange and made it more effective by having someone over there. When was magnetron strapping developed?

Bryant:

That was by James Sayers at Birmingham. I think it was about August of 1941.

Bainbridge:

The man that I thought was credited with the strapping was Ernie Titterton, Australian boy.

Bryant:

He was certainly in the same group. At the Fifty Years of the Cavity Magnetron Symposium, February 21, 1990, in Birmingham, Oliphant gave Sayers the credit.

Bainbridge:

Oliphant should know.

Bryant:

It's significant, perhaps, that Sayers was present, and Titterton was not living. But nevertheless the British influence was much greater than anything to do with this trip to England that I made. I think the concept of radar was almost simultaneously thought of in Germany, England, the United States. And the value of lowering the wavelength was elementary physics as far as definition and distance. I think the British really went for it at Birmingham. Randall, Boot, Sayers and Oliphant. Also, the techniques of using it were very quickly developed by the British. Taffy Bowen had quite a bit to do. And maybe Sir Watson-Watt. Certainly the R.A.F. One very important point to me is that the British didn't hand over the defense research and offensive research to the boffins, to Lord Lindemann. Lord Lindemann was science advisor for Churchill. Tizard was much younger in his thoughts than Lindemann was. But they didn't hand over a great deal of it to Lindemann. They gave it to the younger fellows, and at the Radiation Laboratory a lot of fellows still hadn't finished their Ph.D.'s. At Los Alamos, same thing. Young fellows who hadn't gotten their B.S.'s or B.A.'s were put into responsible jobs and did very well. Vannevar Bush, I think, was the one who decided, with his pals Karl Compton and Roger Adams and Frank Jewett, that the place to put the contracts was not with individuals but with the universities. Let the universities sweat it out, and leave the fellows who were doing the work alone. Keep them away from the contracts and the negotiations and so on. This certainly made things go faster.

Bryant:

You were at Cavendish Labs, Cambridge, in '33 and '34?

Bainbridge:

One year, from July of '33 to September of '34.

Bryant:

A postdoctorate year?

Bainbridge:

Yes. I had a Guggenheim Fellowship and was not associated with any college. But the members of the Cavendish Laboratory and the colleges were very hospitable. At the time I was doing work that was recognized as good physics and of interest to them, on mass energy equivalence and masses of isotopes, that sort of thing. They would invite me to feasts at the colleges. My wife couldn't go; this was sort of mean, but the husbands were invited. So I saw Trinity College thanks to Ernest Rutherford and F. W. Aston, Caius College thanks to Chadwick, and Trinity thanks to J.J. Thompson, who was Master of Trinity at the time. I was living sort of beyond anything a young American could expect.

Bryant:

Those were really important contacts and acquaintances that you made there.

Bainbridge:

Yes. The one that kept up for years until his death was Cockcroft. He would be in the United States frequently, partly raising money for Churchill College, partly on government business. His wife had relatives on the North Shore, up in Swampscott, some place like that, so they would come over and stay with us. Then when my second wife and I went to England, we stayed with them, and so on. I kept all the letters we had, which were very interesting, about conditions during the war. He would write and tell me everything except the military secrets, about the bombing and the food situation and so on.

Harvard Physics Department

Bryant:

How did you come to join the Harvard physics department?

Bainbridge:

I was invited to join the Harvard Physics Department when I was over in England. I was also invited to join MIT. I think the invitation to Harvard was partly on the basis — or mainly on the basis — of a recommendation from our good friend J. Curry Street, who was a cosmic ray expert. We'd worked at the Bartol Foundation, and we were about the same age. I know that Harlow Shapley, the astronomer from Harvard, came over and talked to me, and we had dinner together. Then he talked to Rutherford and so on. Finally I got an offer to come to Harvard as assistant professor. That was a temporary job, no tenure. But I'd been out for two years as a National Research Council Fellow, two years as a Bartol Research Foundation Fellow, and one year as a Guggenheim Fellow. So I guess it was a few years later that I was given a permanent appointment. But I didn't worry about it. Everything was going well; the research was going well. My son had been born in England — he was a little Britisher. [Chuckling] My eldest daughter Joan was born two years after I returned to this country.

Hansen Lectures

Bryant:

Back to the MIT Radiation Lab, the Hansen Lectures seem to have been quite prominent.

Bainbridge:

Oh, yes.

Bryant:

I was surprised to learn they went from about November '40 right into 1945. Did you attend those?

Bainbridge:

I certainly attended all those up to going to England. We were lucky to get Hansen there. I think he was still doing some work at Stanford. Hansen came once a week to give lectures.

Bryant:

How big an audience did he have?

Bainbridge:

He had everybody.

E.G. Bowen and Denis Robinson

Bryant:

And E. G. Bowen

Bainbridge:

There again, we're talking about the influence of the British. E.G. Bowen, of course, had the story in his head. He'd been in charge of the airborne interception (AI) radar work. We called him "Taffy," because he was a Welshman. He had done some fantastic things such as heading up work for Sir Watson-Watt. They let us have him in America, which was important.

Bryant:

So that was a transfer of knowledge that couldn't be beat. It couldn't have been done any other way than to bring a very well-informed person.

Bainbridge:

Yes. He had every detail.

Bryant:

How did he operate at MIT Radiation Lab? Did he have any definite assignment? Was he free-lance there, or what?

Bainbridge:

There you've got me. He certainly was available if you wanted help or wanted to talk about something. Whether he had a silver cloud he sat on near DuBridge, I don't know.

Bryant:

I talked with Denis Robinson this morning. He got to the Rad Lab in July of '41. He describes himself as being Bowen's replacement. Apparently Bowen was not as much present or available after Robinson got there.

Bainbridge:

They worked together for a while as a team. I thought that Denis had come particularly for the air-to-surface vessel (ASV) radar; that was my impression.

Bryant:

Yes, he made it very clear that one of his important missions was to get across the point that AI radar was no longer that critical, but ASV radar was most critical.

Bainbridge:

The gunlaying radar was very important, and I think Ridenour suggested a system [which became the SCR-584]. I think Getting, who was in my division, was the group leader on that. And I remember going out to the Dodge plant. They were going to make the truck and the antenna mount. We went out there and talked to the Dodge people.

Signal Corps

Bryant:

You said that you did get a trip to the Signal Corps laboratory at some point.

Bainbridge:

Yes, Fort Monmouth, I think. It was one of these places which had a 200-foot tower. I didn't like that. I climbed up that damned tower to see the radar on the top. Even in a light breeze the thing swayed [Chuckling] back and forth. But it was part of my job to see what other people were doing.

Bryant:

Did you have occasion to go out to Wright Field, to the Aircraft Radio Laboratory?

Bainbridge:

No.

Bryant:

They apparently became quite interested in airborne radar after the Tizard Mission showed them the possibilities. Up to that point they'd done nothing at all with airborne radar.

Bainbridge:

My recollection is that in contracting for radar, the Navy had one system and the Air Force had to get their stuff through the Signal Corps. Is that correct?

Bryant:

Yes, the Aircraft Radio Laboratory at Wright Field, which served Air Corps, was actually part of the Signal Corps.

Bainbridge:

Yes.

Bryant:

So Wright Field and Fort Monmouth were separate organizations under the Signal Corps in Washington. But it seems to me as though the group at Wright Field became much more active and related to the Radiation Laboratory than Fort Monmouth ever did.

Bainbridge:

Well, there was a big difference between... I don't see any reason this can't go in the record, and I don't know why other people don't emphasize it, but if you had something from the Navy, you would go down to Washington, and there was, I think, Admiral Furer as head of a section there. This was certainly true on the SM radar. I think this [SM designation] was facetious because it had been through SK and SL [Chuckling]. But there was Sam Tucker, our young Lieutenant Commander. In the Navy, if they had a good man, they didn't give a damn about his age or rank, as long as he would do the job right. And so you went to Washington for a contract or to a discussion of a radar, you might see young Sam Tucker, you might see another Tucker who was at the Bureau of Ships.

You could get one of these fellas to commit himself to say, "Yes, this looks good to us. Would you change this and change that? Who's going to make it?" "Well, we think Philco will do a good job on this." "Okay, and how many are we going to make?" Well, this would be decided, and the thing would go through. If you went to the Signal Corps, you finally got to Captain so-and-so, and he would hear you out. Then your proposal would go from the Captain to a Lieutenant Colonel to the Colonel to the General and back down maybe a different path. By that time weeks and weeks — maybe months — had gone by, and what you'd proposed had been "improved on" so much that if they got it they'd be sorry because they wouldn't get the latest improvements. There was a big difference between the Navy and Army in the efficiency of doing things, which was very important. If the Navy had something that worked well and that could be mounted on a tank or put into an airplane, the Signal Corps would ask the Navy to increase their contract by 500 units, and they would take those. This was fine and saved time. Also, I guess they saved on replacement costs.

"Selling" Ideas to Military

Bryant:

That brings up one thing that concerned the Rad Lab: interacting with the customer. How were military needs communicated to the Radiation Laboratory? Did the services take much initiative on this?

Bainbridge:

The Navy stated the problem. The Rad Lab representatives defined what was needed. The best radar set I was concerned with was the SM, 10-centimeters, an 8-foot dish, waveguide feed, specifically designed to look over everything — above and below and around — initially built for aircraft carriers. Initially, the idea was to detect Japanese snooper planes looking for your fleet before they could see you. You could work close to the horizon with a narrow beam from the 8-foot diameter antenna. This was essentially started by a Lieutenant Commander Stedman Teller, who was an experienced torpedo-plane pilot for the U.S. Navy who had been sent to the Mediterranean to be with the British fleet. He was very popular with the British fleet because any ship he was on was never attacked while he was on it. [Chuckling] The British Navy loved him. They said he'd go, say, from a cruiser to a battleship, and the cruiser would get beaten up while the battleship would be free of trouble. Anyhow, he was observer there and was an experienced torpedo plane pilot. He came back to the United States. He was a young man, but he'd seen the British Mediterranean fleet in action. They put him in as one of the leading men on Air Plans. He was to take his knowledge and decide what was needed in the future. He decided that one thing you needed was to keep the security of the fleet. The Rad Lab could supply the design of something that was narrow beam, could work fairly close to the water, could pick up incoming planes further out than they could see you, and so on. So I went down to Washington. I think this was December 5, 1941. It was two days before Pearl Harbor.

Teller had a group of four or five other Naval officers. We discussed what this thing might look like. I'd been working on the SCR-615, a ground radar using a big dish. The SCR-615 never proved out very well. It had no lock-on-target feature. But here was a chance for a fresh start with a thing which could be mounted as high as you could go on the aircraft carrier so long as you could get it under some bridges in New York and so on. This was discussed, and back I went to the Radiation Laboratory to talk to DuBridge and get his okay that Division 10, I think it was, could go ahead on this project. Teller would come up every once in a while — fly up from Washington — to see how things were going. The first model, a handmade one essentially, went on the Yorktown. The first commercial one went on the Bunker Hill. It was mounted in the Boston Navy Yard, and they went down to the Trinidad area where they would give some training on these things. Right away it made a hit because the boys in the trial attack run, a lot of planes, took off from the deck, and their compasses were off. They started going to Africa. They would have just dropped in the drink. The executive officer on the Yorktown tried to contact them by radio. They didn't hear the ship's radio. So then he sent up a plane and relayed the message to turn these guys around and get them back to the boat. This sold it to the pilots.

Bryant:

That paid for all of the radar developments.

Bainbridge:

Yes, but it really was necessary to sell the stuff. Nobody liked the SM radar at first because it weighed so damn much. Well, it didn't weigh so much if you could put something up there which could get the range and the altitude and protect you from snoopers. Finally, everybody wanted one. I think that it weighed as much as an optical range finder, and the SM gave more information.

Bryant:

That was a very good illustration.

Bainbridge:

Yes, SM sold itself for the return of planes for one of the carriers, which was doing its shakedown cruise on the way to the Pacific. There was a case somewhat similar when we were working from the MIT roof — one bad-weather night this was — and some guy was trying to find the Worcester airport, but he was way off. We had radio contact with him and corrected him so that he could see the Worcester Airport and get in. It was this sort of thing that finally sold the machines to the customer. And then, of course, once in the Pacific where they could see, where they could be directed by the radar to the incoming enemy and get the jump on them. This sold it, of course, particularly well.

Bryant:

Again, about cases where the Radiation Laboratory came up with concepts that had to be sold to the government, you were saying the Microwave Early Warning (MEW) wasn't that much problem.

Bainbridge:

No, I think by that time the everybody understood what was going on and wanted the radar. The German submarines didn't know what hit them when the British ASV, 10-centimeter radar equipped planes came along. With the earlier and longer wavelength, the subs could detect the radar because it was just one-way transmission.

Bryant:

The subs could just listen.

Bainbridge:

Yes, listen and dive down.

Bryant:

You were pointing out that the GCA, the ground control approach radar, was difficult to sell?

Bainbridge:

Simply because pilots are a pretty good, self-confident bunch, and rightly so. They don't want to have anyone else tell them how to fly. But when the chips were down, with soupy weather or something, then they appreciated it. In particular, later in England where they might go up on a bombing raid, come back and find nothing there but soup. Maybe they'd try to go to another air field, and that would be soup. They had only so much gas left.

Bryant:

Can you come up with other illustrations of Radiation Laboratory ideas that had to be sold?

Bainbridge:

I know the proximity fuzes had to be sold, but that had nothing to do with radar.

Bryant:

What did Radiation Laboratory staff do to train military users on use of Radiation Laboratory devices — radars?

Bainbridge:

Oh, there was a series of schools that were started. The people who were at the Harvard physics department during the war were teaching young officers — Army, Navy, Signal Corps — about electricity and physics, elementary. From there they'd go to radar school, which I think was in downtown Boston. The Radiation Laboratory helped provide instructors, figure out what they should do as far as materials covered, and so on. There was a complete sequence.

Relations to Private Industry

Bryant:

Going back to October 1940, before the start of the Radiation Laboratory, E. G. Bowen and John Cockcroft of the Tizard Mission in meeting with the Microwave Committee, recommended three projects: an AI radar, a gunlaying set, and long-range navigation. Also, Bowen blocked out the design of a basic microwave radar, with specifications for sub-assemblies and critical components. These latter were ordered for very short delivery, from the various companies represented on the Microwave Committee. These were starting to be delivered about the time Radiation Laboratory opened. That was: magnetrons and receivers from Bell Labs, and indicators from R.C.A. and so forth. But it was also the recommendation of the British that there should be a Fighter Aircraft committed.

Bainbridge:

What sort of a vehicle?

Bryant:

An aircraft especially designed for AI.

Bainbridge:

Oh. I see.

Bryant:

Does the XP-61 mean anything to you? It did come along, but much later. It was called the Black Widow, I believe. The manufacturer was Northrop.

Bainbridge:

Well, it could be, but I didn't know about it. I know another side, from Taffy Bowen, from his experience in England. You can see this on these radar planes that were sold to Saudi Arabia. You can't tell ahead of time if you put a funny bump on an airplane whether it goes faster or slower. [Chuckling] Sometimes it aids aerodynamically. You've seen these damn AWACS things. Great big search radar up there.

Bryant:

Put an MEW on an airplane. [Chuckling]

Bainbridge:

Yes, on an airplane. [Chuckling] I remember Taffy Bowen saying you just couldn't tell. The damned thing might work one way, or it might work the other way.

You talk about different firms doing things. I could put in a pitch for Raytheon, which has recently been slugged on the Patriot Missile, maddeningly. I knew Lawrence Marshall sort of socially. His son and my son were about the same age — were friends — and we lived near each other. So I knew Lawrence Marshall, who was head of Raytheon. And I knew that they could make anything. They had been the Amerad Radio Company, and they made hearing-aid tubes. I knew that the British had used alternators direct-coupled to engines, and if you were flying you'd get anything between 400 cycles and maybe 1200 cycles, while I think the United States was using 400 cycles, fed from 28 volts DC.

I went out to Raytheon to get an alternator for the Lab. I guess I talked to Lawrence at breakfast one day about this, the only time he could see me. [Chuckling] I went out there, and I met Percy Spencer, who was a self-taught genius inventor. A great guy! He said, "Sure, they could make 400-cycle alternators." And he said it would be to government specs and dipped in some sort of goo and so on. So they made those.

Later we needed modulator switching valves and rectifiers. They made this little rectifier about the size of the smallest Crest toothpaste tube. Also, we were having trouble with grid emission. From some place — maybe it was Bell Labs — I had heard from that if you plated the grids with gold, you got less secondary emission. So I went to Marshall and said, "Can we get some triodes of this design with gold plated grids instead of nickel grids?" or whatever they used. I think it was nickel. We got them. They would do things like that in a hurry, and that was very useful.

Bryant:

I think they benefited both ways. They were in on the know on what was going to go and what wasn't going to go. But they did make quite a contribution in doing so.

Bainbridge:

Oh, yes. Vannevar Bush had been one of the founders of the company, I think.

Bryant:

Was he?

Bainbridge:

Yes, Bush was into a lot of things. [Chuckling]

Army Management at Los Alamos

Bryant:

I see. I didn't know that. I have one question which you have partially answered, I believe: How did dealing with the Army compare to dealing with the Navy?

Bainbridge:

Well, I've said a little bit about that. Dealing with the Navy was pretty straightforward. For one thing they were higher technically than most of the people you'd meet in the Army. Those boys had to know something about guns or radar or navigation or bombing or something, which you might not run into in a Signal Corps man. That was part of it. The other thing was this directness of approach. If Admiral Julius A. Furer trusted Sam Tucker, okay, Sam Tucker had the responsibility. So long as he carried it off right he was backed up. I never found this in the Army, that is, high responsibility at a low rank.

Bryant:

We should talk a little about the transition to Los Alamos. It must have been quite a change for the Radiation Laboratory to lose several key people in early 1943.

Bainbridge:

Well, they had plenty of people of equal or better ability. What happened there — I didn't really learn about this, though, until two years ago from Bacher. I don't know whether Bob Bacher was receivers or what group he was in charge of — but if DuBridge had died, I think Bacher would have been made director. I have never discussed this possibility with anybody. Maybe I'm all wrong.

Bryant:

Would have been DuBridge's replacement?

Bainbridge:

Yes, I'm pretty sure Bacher would have been his replacement. When the Los Alamos (Manhattan District) program started and Groves picked Oppenheimer as director, Oppenheimer depended on getting advice from DuBridge and Rabi and Loomis — Wheeler Loomis particularly — as to what he should do out there and so forth.

What happened at Los Alamos was very much like the growth of the Radiation Laboratory. Each senior guy who came out there would pick four or five people he'd been close to. He knew how they thought and so on, and he would try to lure them out there as a group to help start the place. What Bacher told me two years ago (I don't quite believe it) was that he and I were selected because DuBridge and Rabi and Bacher told Oppenheimer, you're not going to get to first base unless you have some people who are used to dealing with the military. [Chuckling] The interesting thing is that the first idea that Groves and Conant had was that the atomic bomb was such a hot secret that they should get the boys out there in the fall of '43. On January 1st '44 they would have to decide whether they would go back and keep their mouths closed forever after, or they'd stay on for the duration under military procedure, put on uniforms. When this got out, [Chuckling] everybody hit the roof. They finally convinced Oppenheimer it wouldn't work.

Anyhow, I went out there partly because I'd been working on the equivalence of mass and energy, and had this idea on separating uranium 235, which was necessary to get a small bomb — you get a small core for the bomb and so on. So I went out there. Then I had the fun of recruiting people where you're not supposed to tell them what they're going to work on. [Chuckling] You skated on pretty thin ice. You come awful close. No one I invited turned me down. But they weren't treated as well at Los Alamos. This was a laboratory that indirectly was run by the Army, it got its money through the Army. General Groves was the head boy. Colonel Stewart, who was in Los Angeles, was the guy who handled the mail, paychecks, and appointments. He was Army. The security people were Army. Major DeSilva. There were a few good Army people there. I mean, good in the sense that they worked for the job, no counting the hours involved. They saw how informal people were. Their rank didn't bother them except one officer to another, but they could be civilians essentially the rest of the time. Anyhow, this worked out very well.

Bryant:

You've made some comparisons already between the style and method of operation of Los Alamos and the radar laboratory here.

Bainbridge:

DuBridge could have felt under pressure, I suppose. Because as this book, (A Race on the Edge of Time, by David E. Fisher) says, radar was a fantastic development, and he was responsible for it. But he never sprung any surprises. If he shifted people around — maybe some guy wasn't doing his job — he did it very gently. Oppenheimer was more abrupt, more highly strung, more tense. Different situations. Oppenheimer was always very decent to me; he was sometimes erratic.

Bryant:

You had a completely different interaction with the customer there. At the Radiation Laboratory you had many customers and that dispersed things, did it not? It gave you more people to interact and talk with, whereas at Los Alamos you only had one goal and one customer, right? No diversity?

Bainbridge:

There was a fight among the customers, though, I believe. [Chuckling] Here again, although Groves was running the show, the Navy was awfully close to FDR. This bothered Groves, I'm sure. But once the bomb worked and once the bomb was used, then you got into... Oh, Bacher would know more about it. Is the IEEE History Committee going to talk to Bacher?

Bryant:

No, he's not coming.

Bainbridge:

I talked to him, ten days ago.

Bryant:

How is he?

Bainbridge:

He's in good shape. He's under considerable strain because his wife, Jean, is quite ill. When he was active he'd travel a great deal because he had consulting jobs in New York, Washington, Boston, and so on. You'd see him a couple of times a year.

Bryant:

I certainly thank you very much for your time.