October 10, 2018

Women's Work: Joan Hinton and the Manhattan Project

Have you ever heard of Joan Hinton? One of the few female scientists for the Manhattan Project, Hinton served in a small, eight-person lab team under Enrico Fermi, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist from Italy who had created the world’s first nuclear reactor.

But when you think of the Manhattan Project, Hinton’s name is rarely mentioned. Instead we often talk about Oppenheimer, Einstein, or a wide range of male scientists who worked on the super-secret project in the New Mexico desert.

In this audio documentary, we step toward the full history of the Manhattan Project by taking a closer look at the women—and one woman in particular—who worked on the creation of the atomic bomb. A production of The National Trust for Historic Preservation, this documentary about Joan Hinton’s life was produced by Eric Shimelonis and Rebecca Sheir.

Special thanks to Voices of the Manhattan Project, a joint venture of the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society to create a public archive of oral histories from Manhattan Project veterans and their families.

Runtime: 28 minutes

Want to learn more about Joan Hinton? Check out these resources, provided by the Atomic Heritage Foundation:

Over the years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has been involved with partners across the country in the protection of sites related to the Manhattan Project. On November 10, 2015, the National Park Service formally designated the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Documentary Credits:

  • Executive Producer: Priya Chhaya
  • Editor: Julia Rocchi
  • Researcher: Jared Foretek
  • Additional staff support: Chris Morris, Sarah Heffern, Carson Bear, and Nancy Tinker

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While her day job is the associate director of content at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Priya spends other waking moments musing, writing, and learning about how the public engages and embraces history.

Every place has a woman's story to tell. Through Where Women Made History, we are identifying, honoring, and elevating places across the country where women have changed their communities and the world.

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