Technology’s march

In 2011 I went through the website of the Atomic Heritage Foundation and ordered three DVDs at great cost. They duly arrived and in 2013 I laboriously watched them and transcribed the parts that seemed useful.

On this particular DVD were interviews with seven very old men who had begun their careers in the Manhattan Project. Five were interesting but irrelevant. Ralph Lapp, a physicist with a varied career, seemed fascinating but he did rave on. What interested me was the 1965 interview with Ted Rockwell, one of Hyman Rickover’s key managers when he developed the first PWR reactor. I spent a long time transcribing Rockwell’s entertaining and useful anecdotes, rambling though they also were.

Recently I returned to check out the Atomic Heritage Foundation and discovered it’s now part of or in partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, and as a result or perhaps a progression, the website has added a veritable treasury of interviews, I think over a hundred of them. And the 1965 Rockwell interview is now on the site, readily listenable by anyone, and with an immediately accessible transcript to boot. All that work seven years ago, now replaced by a Google and a few clicks! The march of progress…