Respondent
Shapiro, Zalman M. (Zalmon Mordecai)
Interview Date
August, 1984
Abstract
Zalman Shapiro, a PhD in physical chemistry, was awarded the Westinghouse Silver W Order of Merit and citations from the National Research Council and the American Nuclear Society for his work with zirconium; birth year, 1920;
[T1S1] family background and residences before moving to Pittsburgh in 1948; his father served as Chief Rabbi in Utica, OH; education, high school in Passaic, NJ and college at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD, 1938; parents' families came from Lithuania; paternal grandfather was a rabbi, also; his only sibling, a sister; his children and their lives and locations; how his upbringing differed from the way he raised his children; originally hired by Westinghouse to inject science into the ceramic lab; he is moved after a few months to Bettis Field to work on a nuclear submarine; vice president of the Zionist Organization of America, an officer of Technion Society, a director for Hillel, and volunteer for the Jewish Federation and Anti-Defamation League; affiliation with Young People's Synagogue; discussion of Young People's Synagogue; discussion of experiences with anti-Semitism in school; discussion of the American Nazi movement; examples of economic anti-Semitism;
[T1S2] continuation of examples of corporate anti-Semitism; discussion of his education; his search for a job and experiences with anti-Semitism in the job market; employment at Johns Hopkins in defense research; discussion of his job there; marriage in 1945; moves to Pittsburgh in 1948; discussion of his job at Westinghouse; 1957, starts his own business; he designed and constructed his own plant and equipment; sixteen patents came out of this project; the youngest man to receive the Westinghouse Silver W Award; opinions of General Rickover, overseer of the "Nautilus" nuclear submarine project;
[T2S3] discussion of the Bettis Lab; his role in the "Nautilus" project; awards include a plaque from the Kiski Valley Association for the Apollo Plant, his nuclear materials and equipment plant, citations from the National Research Council and the American Nuclear Society; graduate, rabbinical academy; begins Americans for Energy Independence (AEI)in 1975; offices still exist in Washington; purpose of AEI; people involved with AEI, including Hans Beth Zumwalt, Bob Nathan, and Peabody, former governor of Massachusetts; the nuclear plant at Shippingport; the first to produce nuclear power on a large scale; feelings about anti-nuclear demonstrators; ideas for storing nuclear waste without contaminating groundwater; uses of nuclear waste or by-products;
[T2S4] courtship and marriage; wife's education at Goucher and Yale; her teaching position at Johns Hopkins University; birth of first child; his job offers; salaries at the time; discussion of inflation; Israel's financial problems, defense capabilities; views about the need for orthodoxy in Judaism; his defense of nuclear power efficiency.
Subjects
Americans For Energy Independence; Antisemitism; Chemists; Chemistry; Nuclear energy; Rickover, Hyman George; Synagogues; Young Peoples Synagogue (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company; Zionist Organization of America
Birth Date
1920
Profession
Physical Chemist
Occupation (father)
Rabbi
Length (hours)
2
Interviewer1
Meth, Jean
Interviewer2
Kimball, Harold
Indexer
Reynolds, Jacqueline
Collateral Materials
Box 106 FF 19
Identifier
ais196440.423
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh