Manhattan Project Shield Window Fragment (1195g)
A truly exceptional, one-of-a-kind artifact from WWII. This enormous fragment of the Manhattan Project Shield Window glass weighs 1,195g (2.63lbs)!
The Manhattan Project Shield window also appears in the Large and Touch versions of the Fourth Edition of the Mini Museum!
The Manhattan Project was the codename for the research and development effort which allowed the United States to rapidly develop a series of atomic breakthroughs during World War II, including the first industrial-scale plutonium production reactor and the first atomic bombs. This enormous project involved over one hundred thousand scientists, engineers, technicians, and construction workers at more than 30 sites across the United States, including well-known locations such as Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, Trinity, and Hanford.
This specimen is a FULL-size leaded glass shield window once installed in the T Plant (221-T) Plutonium Recovery Building, the first and largest of two production bismuth-phosphate chemical separations plants used to extract plutonium from fuel rods irradiated in the Hanford Site’s reactors.
During WWII, engineers at Hanford would look through this glass while extracting plutonium for both the Trinity test on July 16, 1945, and the "Fat Man" atomic bomb used over Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945.
The window was sold during a government surplus auction in the late 1980s as part of the long (and continuing) decommissioning process. The yellow color of the glass is due to a high concentration of lead-oxide (up to 30% in this case), which blocks blue and near-UV spectral frequencies, and also gives the glass its protective qualities.
In addition, to this large fragment, there are a handful of smaller full windows and very large fragments of glass available. As you might suspect, they are very expensive and very heavy. These items are priced by weight and run between $10,000 to $3,400,000 (yes, that's three million).
If you are interested in obtaining one of these incredibly rare items, please contact us directly for details.
LEAD WARNING: The glass is not radioactive but it is comprised of lead-oxide. The glass should be handled with care and only while wearing gloves. Lead is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
About the Manhattan Project
For more details about the glass and the Manhattan Project please visit our long-form article "Nothing Would Ever Be the Same: Notes from the Mini Museum."
Above: Photo of the Nagasaki bombing taken by Hiromichi Matsuda (Source: Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum)