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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Louise Keaton

Calutron GirlY-12 Plant

Oak Ridge, TN
Manhattan Project VeteranProject Worker/Staff
Louise Keaton

Louise Keaton worked as a Calutron girl at the Y-12 Plant at Oak Ridge, TN.

Keaton was hired to work at Y-12 in 1944, when she was 18. “The readings [on the machines] should be, you know, as high as we could get ’em,” she recalled about her training. “If they got out of control, we operated a knob between them and got them back. And they would make terrible noises.”

Keaton initially shared a flattop house with her sister, Claneria Harrison, who also worked at Oak Ridge, before moving to a dormitory. She worked at Oak Ridge until 1946, when she got married.

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