Advance Copy of Smythe's Report on the Development of the Atomic Bomb
SMYTH, Henry de Wolf. General Account of the Development of Methods of Using Atomic Energy. for Military Putposes Under the Auspices of the United States Government 1940 -1945 ... Written at the request of Major General L.R. Groves United States Army. [Washington D.C.]: [printed at the Pentagon] , 1945.
First edition, advance publication copy for press use. One of 1,000 copies. Cyclostyled pages, stapled (10 3/8 x 7 7/8 inches; 264 x 200 mm.). [8], 19, [1, blank], 10, 7, [1, blank], 15, [1, blank], 9, [1, blank], 14, 15, [1, blank],17, [1, blank], 13, [1, blank], 10, 13, [1, blank], 12, 3, [1, blank], 6, 2, 3, [1, blank], 5, [1, blank], 1, [1, blank] pp. With intertextual diagrams and "Released for Publication on ____" lithographed on lower inner corner of front wrapper. With duplicate extra leaf "x-5." Complete.

Original textured cream wrappers stapled in three places along inner edge. Wrappers slightly soiled. Spine with a small dampstain. Internally very clean. About fine.

This is the first edition of the first description of the technical development of the atomic bomb, published on 12 August 1945, just six days after Hiroshima. Until the publication of A General Account research and development had been undertaken in conditions of the utmost secrecy and the report was also prepared in secret. However, the British and American governments decided that the widest dissemination of this "remarkably full and candid account" (PMM) was in the public interest, and this first edition was distributed to journalists for radio use on 11 August and for press use the next day. This first edition with a Foreword by L.R. Groves is described as a "lithoprint" and was printed in the Adjutant General's office in the Pentagon from a typescript.

"All pertinent scientific information which can be released to the public at this time without violating the needs of national security is contained in this volume. No requests for additional information should be made to private persons or organizations associated directly or indirectly with the project. Persons disclosing or securing additional information by any means whatsoever without authorization are subject to severe penalties under the Espionage Act" (Groves, from the Foreword).

Although it does not state anywhere, this copy belonged to American physicist and director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Norris Bradbury. In July 1944, Bradbury a naval commander, transferred to Los Alamos to work on the Manhattan Project. In 1945, Oppenheimer resigned as director of Los Alamos and recommended Bradbury for his replacement.

Norman Library 1962. Printing and the Mind of Man, 422e.

HBS # 67805 $5,000