Ruth Huddleston: Calutron Girl
Ruth Huddleston was a cubicle operator, or “calutron girl,” at the Y-12 plant on the Oak Ridge site of the Manhattan Project. Calutron girls, mostly recent high-school graduates, were tasked with monitoring dials and measurement meters on the calutron: a mass spectrometer machine used to separate uranium for weapons materials. Ruth and her co-workers had no idea what they were working on but excelled at the task, often performing better than scientists with more technical backgrounds. Listen to Ruth Huddleston’s oral history.