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Home » Browse » Chemistry & Physics » SMYTH, Henry DeWolf. - A General Account of the Development of Using Atomic Energy for Military Purposes Under the Auspices of the United States Government 1940–1945.
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SMYTH, Henry DeWolf.

A General Account of the Development of Using Atomic Energy for Military Purposes Under the Auspices of the United States Government 1940–1945.

Written at the request of Major General L. R. Groves United States Army. Publication authorized as of August 1945.

Published: Washington DC: War Department, 1945

Stock code: 83329

Price: £3,000

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The lithoprint edition, the earliest obtainable edition of the Smyth Report, with the ownership inscription and ink stamps of the Manhattan Project’s principal metallurgist Frank Foote (1906–1998), a member of the Physics Group headed by Enrico Fermi and one of the Project’s leading scientists, “renowned for his contribution to the Manhattan Project and to nuclear metallurgy generally” (Cahn, The Coming of Materials Science, p. 30). After the war he became Director of the Metallurgy Division at Argonne National Laboratory, where he initiated research on “highly anisotropic materials such as uranium and plutonium”, which he believed “would yield insights not obtained from studies on materials of higher symmetry, and enthusiastically supported basic research on uranium and plutonium, production of pure materials… etc.” (International Union of Crystallography obituary). Foote, a “quiet, scholarly, kind man” was a signer of the Szilard petition, which requested that President Truman not use atomic weapons against Japan, and also became a member of Atoms for Peace. The Smyth Report was the official history of the Manhattan Project, a “remarkably full and candid account” (PMM) compiled by physicist Henry DeWolf Smith at the request of Major General Leslie R. Groves. The first printing was a mimeographed version stamped “secret” on each page, and all copies save one—Smyth’s master, now held at Princeton—were destroyed. The publication history of the lithoprint version was unusually complicated (see Norman for a brief account), but some sources suggest three printings of 2,000 copies each. The third printing has a governmental printing number on the last page, but in the absence of other circumstantial evidence the first two printings are indistinguishable.

Perfect bound with staples. Original cream morocco-patterned wrappers. “Released for publication on” printed to upper wrapper. Some rubbing and spotting to wrappers, minor abrasion to upper cover, lower staple separated from cover. Excellent condition.

Bibliography: Printing and the Mind of Man 422e, Norman 1962.

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