Friends across borders

I enjoyed seeing global friendships in those hothouse early nuclear days. George Weil pulled out the control rod of Enrico Fermi’s CP-1 reactor in 1942. He doesn’t figure much in my story after that, but he must have visited John Cockcroft in rural Canada when Cockcroft ran the Canadian lab there in the early 1940s, for I found this letter from Cockcroft to Weil. The letter is super friendly, full of jargon that was music to my ears:

Dear Weil, Very many thanks for the transparencies of Deep River, which are a very welcome addition to my Deep River collection. We have survived the winter with no worse casualties than mumps and measles, and are now enjoying the Spring. We are laying on Atomic Energy for the next cold weather season! We have made reasonable progress in spite of it all, and should have a Gleep by September and a Super-Clinton by next Spring. Super-super Clintons will follow. I hope to visit Canada and the United States in about a month’s time. I expect you will be in the prohibited classes! With kind regards, yours sincerely.


Cockcroft, John. 1947. Cockcroft to Weil, Apr. 22, 1947. AB 27/22, National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom.