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Women's History Month: Esther Green Floth

  • Published
  • By Jared Lynd
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

In recognition of Women's History Month, I wish to honor and remember Esther Green Floth - an extraordinary woman who contributed vastly during the Manhattan Project. I recently learned that she is my grandma’s first cousin. Technically my cousin twice removed, I’ve been fondly referring to her as my Aunt Esther.  As we celebrate women's achievements, I hope to share Aunt Esther’s story to a wider audience.

Esther Green was General Groves’ secretary during the Manhattan Project from June 1943 to August 1946. She was responsible for documenting important conversations, managing schedules and other administrative tasks essential to the project's success. Her excellent organization skills, attention to detail and ability to work under pressure were highly valued by Groves.

During her time at the Manhattan Project, Esther witnessed history in the making. She worked with notable scientists such as J. Robert Oppenheimer (“Oppie” as she called him), Ernest Lawrence, Edward Teller, and Niels Bohr. She documented the events leading up to the atomic bomb tests in Los Alamos and witnessed the first nuclear test at Trinity. Her work was vital to the success of the project, and she was commended for her contribution when the war ended.

After the war, Aunt Esther took a position with the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project in Fairbanks, Alaska. Then in 1953, she married Edward Floth and moved to Dublin, California, where they both had successful careers in the Atomic Energy Commission at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

In a recent interview, Esther Green Floth shared her experiences and mentioned how important it is for women to pursue careers in science and technology. She said, "Women should have the same opportunities as men, not only in the workplace, but also in society. It is time for women to break barriers and pave the way for future generations."

As her “nephew” and a missileer, I have the chance to continue her legacy in the nuclear enterprise. I hope to honor her contribution by encouraging women to take on roles in science and technology. Esther Green Floth's legacy symbolizes the power of women in achieving groundbreaking milestones in nuclear science and technology.

For more information on Esther Green Floth’s, below is a link to her 2016 interview with the Atomic Heritage Foundation:


Esther Floth's Interview - Nuclear Museum