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  1. #1
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    Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Hello good people:

    I'm planning a new project and it's hard for me to research ISU stuff because I'm 2,000 miles away, so I'm hoping the CF community can help out! Right now I'm researching the history of the Atomic Age and the role ISU played in that. My question is very specific and hopefully it can be answered:

    Are there still any spots on campus that have buildings or rooms that are still "frozen in that era" of the 1940s and 1950s. From my time in Ames, if I am recalling correctly, all of those buildings were along Pammel Drive. Do any specific buildings or rooms have big impressive machines, etc. that look like they were used in the Atomic Age/Space Age of the 1940s-1960s? Any rooms that are a time warp to that era?

    I know about the Ames Lab, but I don't know what it looks like inside. Thanks in advance for any thoughts you can share!


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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Theres still a thing in Nuke E that has radioactive materials in it. Nuke E is about as stuck in the 1950s as any building on campus.



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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Yeah I took heat transfer in the engineering annex in '96. At that time they still had a nuclear rector in the building.



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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Reactor woods



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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaKagavi View Post
    Hello good people:

    I'm planning a new project and it's hard for me to research ISU stuff because I'm 2,000 miles away, so I'm hoping the CF community can help out! Right now I'm researching the history of the Atomic Age and the role ISU played in that. My question is very specific and hopefully it can be answered:

    Are there still any spots on campus that have buildings or rooms that are still "frozen in that era" of the 1940s and 1950s. From my time in Ames, if I am recalling correctly, all of those buildings were along Pammel Drive. Do any specific buildings or rooms have big impressive machines, etc. that look like they were used in the Atomic Age/Space Age of the 1940s-1960s? Any rooms that are a time warp to that era?

    I know about the Ames Lab, but I don't know what it looks like inside. Thanks in advance for any thoughts you can share!
    Gilman Hall is the main chemistry building on campus and there are rooms in the basement that are boarded up, supposedly due to radiation. Also I believe it houses US Department of Energy offices.


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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    I'm sure the sealed rooms in Physics and Gilman are frozen in that time but they aren't exactly accessible to find out.



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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Quote Originally Posted by IcSyU View Post
    I'm sure the sealed rooms in Physics and Gilman are frozen in that time but they aren't exactly accessible to find out.
    With the help of this you may be able to get around better.



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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneNorth View Post
    With the help of this you may be able to get around better.
    Girlfriend is in the Chemistry department...you aren't going to get very far with the tunnel system when it comes to getting to Manhattan Project rooms.


    And that map is incredibly outdated.



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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Quote Originally Posted by IcSyU View Post
    Girlfriend is in the Chemistry department...you aren't going to get very far with the tunnel system when it comes to getting to Manhattan Project rooms.


    And that map is incredibly outdated.
    It's from 2000, but it'll still get you around.


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  10. #10
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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    My grandfather was ROTC sergeant and had an office in the Armory. One day he was sent to Missouri to pick up a trailor and drive it to Ames. He found out much later it was the bomb or some major component thereof.



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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    If you want to know anything about contaminants/pollution on campus, ask Dr. Burras.


    Last edited by SenorCy; 04-01-2013 at 09:23 PM.

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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Quote Originally Posted by SenorCy View Post
    If you want to know anything about contaminants/pollution on campus, ask Dr. Burris.
    Dr. Burras has a whole section of his Agronomy 260 class regarding the history of campus and where things lay or once were.



  13. #13
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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Best place to go would be the Special Collections in the Parks Library. Just go in there, write on a note what it is you want, and they will bring out a box full of information that is exactly what you are looking for.

    Great for primary sources, as well.


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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUCubswin View Post
    Best place to go would be the Special Collections in the Parks Library. Just go in there, write on a note what it is you want, and they will bring out a box full of information that is exactly what you are looking for.

    Great for primary sources, as well.
    And if anybody knows about sources, it's ISUCubswin.

    (Also, he's in California)


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    Re: Help please! Any remnants of the Atomic Age on ISU's campus?

    While I was in college, I did some work for a Civil Engineering professor who did soils research and had some projects out at the Ames Lab site NW of campus. Because of that work, I get regular mailings about getting health checkups because of possible radiation exposure during my work as a "former Ames Lab employee". My exposure would be extremely minimal, so I just throw those away when I get them. I graduated in '91, and I just received one of the mailings last month. So once you're on the list, you're on for life. Apparently.

    Back in the day, I also dated a girl who was doing graduate research on the movement of radioactive materials through the clay soils in the woods out at the Ames Lab. She determined that the soils were so tightly packed that the "hot" material was moving somewhere in the neighborhood of a quarter to a half inch per year. Which means that it MIGHT be a threat in a thousand years or so. Unless the materials broke down over time, like they do naturally. The funniest thing about her research? One of the local Ames folk singers (I don't think it was Greg Brown, but it was someone who was in town back in the mid-90's, can't remember his name off the top of my head - must be the radiation eating at my brain) kept going into the woods and destroying the tops of her monitoring wells in order to "save the planet".


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