James A. Schoke was selected to be part of the Special Engineering Detachment that worked at the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago on the Manhattan Project. He worked in the Instrument Section, developing nuclear radiation detection and measurement instruments. He went on to a successful entrepreneurial career in the fields of Nucleonics, Instrumentation and Fluorescent & UV Lamps, and was featured in a 1949 Popular Mechanics article, “The Million-Dollar Baby of the Nuclear Age.”
Nuclear InstrumentsChicago, IL
EngineerManhattan Project VeteranMilitary VeteranSpecial Engineer DetachmentListen to James Schoke's Oral History on Voices of the Manhattan Project
James Schoke's Timeline
1924 Apr 29th Born in Chicago, Illinois at 11:32pm.
19421943 Studied chemical engineering and physics at the Illinois Institute of Technology and enlisted in Army Signal Corps training program.
1943 Oct1946 Feb Assigned to the Special Engineering Detachment of the Army Corps of Engineers and to the Manhattan Project's Instrument Section at the University of Chicago.
1946 Feb Founded the Instrument Development Laboratory, a company that developed and manufactured specialized radiation detection instruments and radioactive chemicals for medicine, industry, research and the military. It ultimately became Nuclear Chicago Corp., a public company.