Fonds - Slotin family fonds

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Title proper

Slotin family fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Object

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Fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1938-1961 (Creation)
    Creator
    Slotin family

Physical description area

Physical description

20 cm of textual records
2 pins

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1881-2002)

Biographical history

Abraham Israel Slotin and Sonia Slotin immigrated to Canada in order to escape pogroms in Russia. Abraham was born in Russia in 1881 and Bertha in 1885. They were married in Winnipeg in 1910. Abraham was the head of a livestock agency and was involved in a variety of Jewish organizations in Winnipeg. The Slotins had three children Louis (1910), Samuel (1913) and Bertha (1916). Abraham Israel Slotin died in Winnipeg in 1947 and Sonia Slotin in 1956.

Bertha Slotin married Joseph Ludwig in 1942. She died in 2002.

Samuel Slotin married Corrine Ripstein in 1938 and died in Winnipeg in 1992.

Louis Slotin was a was a scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project to build the atom bomb in Los Alamos and notably died there after a nuclear accident.

Louis Slotin completed his Bachelor and Master’s of Science degrees at the University of Manitoba. He then received a fellowship to study at King’s College London where he earned his PhD.

Louis found work at the University of Chicago where he also published papers on radiobiology. While there he was hired by the U.S. government to work on the atomic bomb project. He first did so in Chicago and then Oak Ridge, Tennessee producing plutonium before he moved to the laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. In Los Alamos he worked on criticality testing of radioactive materials. It was during this work in 1946 that an accident occurred, exposing him to a lethal dose of radiation. He died 9 days after the accident.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records of the Slotin family of Winnipeg related to the life and death of Louis Slotin. This includes a small number of records received by Louis related to his scientific work. Most of the records relate to his death from radiation poisoning at the laboratory that produced the first atomic bombs.

Records include correspondence sent to Louis Slotin’s parents in the days after the accident and after his death. Correspondents are from a wide variety of sources including the U.S. military, the scientific community and Jewish communities in Canada. Most of the letters offer condolences, others relate to posthumous awards received from the U.S. military. This includes two pins for his work on the atomic bomb.

Also included in the fonds are numerous clippings about Louis Slotin for several decades after his death as well as scripts for two plays about his life.

The small number of records received during Louis Slotin’s lifetime include certificates relating to his education and scientific work.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

Language of material

  • English
  • Yiddish

Script of material

Language and script note

1 file in this fonds is in Yiddish. See file list for further details.

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