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Early Los Alamos National Laboratory Video from the Hugh Bradner Collection

on March 14, 2012 - 10:20am

The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has recently released a new ten minute portion of physicist Hugh Bradner's amazing "peak-at-life" home movie clips from early Laboratory days, filmed from 1943 to 1945.

Bradner, a physicist at Los Alamos, was granted informal permission to use his video camera inside the New Mexico town that didn't official exist. Bradner took home movies of some of the top secret work being conducted at Los Alamos. It was likely that Army Officials were unaware that Bradner was taking home movies of these laboratory experiments. One clip shows the scientists as they loaded into the cars and buses that would take them to the first atomic bomb test at the Trinity site near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

The movie clips go on to show Bradner, his wife and other scientists enjoying their leisure time. The clips show hiking trips, a wagon ride down the Los Alamos main hill road, horseback rides in the beautiful forests that surround Los Alamos, sunbathing and swimming in the nearby Rio Grande, downhill skiing at Sawyer's Hill, cross-country skiing at the Valles Caldera, a tennis tournament and a visit with famous Pueblo potter, Maria Montoya Martinez.  Other scenes show the Bradner's wedding reception in Santa Fe at the home of Dorothy McKibbin, who is famous for welcoming newly arriving scientist at her 109 East Place Road, Santa Fe office. A glimpse of Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the secret weapons laboratory, can be seen in a wedding reception clip.

This is a unique and rare glimps into the lives of early Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists and spouses. The Los Alamos Daily Post has been told that more footage from the Hugh Bradner home movie collection exists, but has not yet been released to the public by the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

You can read a bit more information about the home movie clips at the Atomic Heritage Foundation website.

 


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