Bradbury Science Museum

About the Bradbury Science Museum

About the Museum

Early years

In 1953, Robert Krohn, who was in charge of early nuclear tests at what was then called Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, decided the Laboratory needed a museum to house historical weapons-research artifacts. Krohn convinced Norris Bradbury (Laboratory director, 1945-­1970) a museum could preserve the Laboratory's history and provide a place for official visitors to learn about the Laboratory's weapon programs.

An old ice house on the bank of Ashley Pond across from Fuller Lodge became the first Laboratory museum. Already fitted with a vault door, the ice house satisfied security standards for housing the classified exhibits Krohn wanted to preserve. The ice house Museum opened to official visitors in 1954.

In 1963, Robert Porton, director of community relations at the Laboratory, expressed an interest in adding unclassified exhibits to the Museum.

Bradbury approved the transfer of unclassified exhibits to an area open to the public, and soon World War II-era documents and photographs, tracing the development of the town and the Laboratory, were displayed with scientific memorabilia and working models of unclassified research projects. In its first year, 14,000 visitors from 50 states and 40 countries visited the Museum.

In 1965, the Museum was moved to larger quarters. The range and number of exhibits grew rapidly and included many hands-on models contributed by scientific groups and divisions within the Laboratory.

Keywords: 1943 exhibits Norris Bradbury

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