Once the United States declared war against Japan and Germany after the December 1941 Pearl Harbor attacks, one thing became abundantly clear: the atomic bomb project would need to move forward at a breakneck pace. For the project to succeed, millions of pounds of purified uranium were needed, but the metal did not exist in those quantities. Since uranium’s discovery more than 150 years earlier, no one had successfully purified it. Dr. Harley Wilhelm, a chemist at Iowa State, was recruited to work on this problem. In September 1942, Wilhelm went to Chicago carrying a secret cargo: the world’s first ingot of purified uranium. The man who grew up as a southern Iowa sharecropper’s son was an unlikely character to change world history. His life, from country “bumpkin” to prolific inventor and Manhattan Project scientist, is an untold story, one which enabled the United States to win the war. Presented by Teresa Wilhelm Waldof.
Ames Historical Society
Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 2:15pm
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, July 1, 2018 - 2:15pm
Sunday, July 8, 2018 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Ames Hi Aiming High Through the Years
Current smaller exhibits include:
James Herman Banning
Artifacts from the Attic: Dolls
Younkers Little Shop
416 Douglas Ave # 101
Ames, IA 50010
Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Other times by appointment.
The Ames History Center is located at 416 Douglas Avenue. The building was paid off in early 2012, but the Society continues to rent out about half of the building to cover operating costs. The Society occupies the entire first floor of the building, accessible from the main entrance on the corner of Douglas and 5th.
The History Center includes archival storage, offices, a media room, meeting space, and display space. Artifacts are currently stored in five off-site storage facilities. Our mission is to engage our diverse public and provide unique opportunities to learn about Ames history.