1945 article declared wartime Los Alamos a ‘great social leveler’

Piece from museum’s collections gossips about amenities, pecking orders

May 4, 2023

Hidden Atom City
The typed article became a part of the museum's collection in 2017. Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos National Laboratory

May is the birthday month of our museum’s namesake, physicist Norris E. Bradbury, the Laboratory’s second director. To mark the occasion, we share a mildly cheeky article from October 1945, “Hidden Atom City Great Social Leveler,” which became a part of the museum’s collection in 2017.

The article provides a snapshot of the era’s social hierarchies, as well as of domestic hardships — real and perceived — from the Lab’s early days. Without naming names, it gossips about who had a bathtub versus a shower, and the ensuing crankiness. Norris E. Bradbury is observed tackling the challenge of juggling responsibilities as a young dad while the Lab’s acting director — specifically, being on diaper duty.

Read the document in our online collection.