Manuscript Group 1173, Ralph Waldo Atkinson (1887 – 1961), Electrical Engineer Papers, 1899 – 1961


Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

1173. ATKINSON, RALPH WALDO (1887-1961), electrical

Papers, 1899-1961. 1 ft.



was an internationally known scientist specializing in
high-voltage cables and power transmission. He resided in Perth
Amboy from 1908-1938 and worked as an electrical engineer for the
General Cable Company in Bayonne, N.J.  In 1946, Atkinson
was invited along with a small number of American scientists,
U.S. Congressmen and delegates of eleven members of the United
Nations to observe the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in the
Marshall Islands.  This collection contains a diary, June 15
– August 8, 1946, of scientific notes and observations written by
Atkinson during the Bikini Bomb tests; a souvenir album entitled Panamint
Parade of the Bikini Bums
, photographs of fellow observers
aboard the U.S.S. Panamint, correspondence between Ralph Atkinson
and fellow members of the task force team, various publications
on “Operation Crossroads,” including articles by
participants, the published diary of scientific observer Sidney
D. Kirkpatrick, newsclippings, photographs of bomb test, and a
handwritten analysis by Atkinson of the onset and progress of his
illness, a rare form of cancer.  Also included are
scientific notes relative to Atkinson’s work at Westinghouse
Electric & Manufacturing Company, reports by Henry Wright
Fisher (1861-1937), miscellaneous correspondence to Atkinson from
friends and family as well as from his fiancee, Elsie Lee Mercer.





Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Cushman, 1982.





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