Frances "Fran" Carroll worked as an operator, supervisor, and research assistant in the Columbia University Laboratory and at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Her primary work was with leak problems in pumps and vacuum tubes.
Carroll joined the Manhattan Project because she wanted to do something to help in the war, and her nearsightedness preculded her from active service. She was working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard when a friend recommended that she apply at Columbia. It would be more interesting, but she couldn't be told why. Columbia offered her a job, and she accepted. She thoroughly enjoyed her time at Columbia on the Manhattan Project, often citing it as the best time of her life. She was convinced that her work at Columbia was the most important thing there was towards ending the war.
She was in the lowest level of those who knew that they were working on an atomic bomb. She worked with the scientists directly and her limited training in the Navy Yard led her to more significant work at Columbia.
Carroll disliked Groves, stating that he ruined the easygoing camaraderie with all his strict rules and regulations and security when the military took over. It was a sentiment shared by other scientists, but the secrecy of the Manhattan Project demanded discipline.
Carroll was born Jan. 28, 1916. She graduated from Bates College in Maine in 1939. She was working on the Manhattan Project in New York when she met William T. Allman, Jr. They married in September 1945, and went to live in Oak Ridge. She went on to be a homemaker and had seven children. When her children were grown, she went to work as a group counselor in a halfway house for boys. After retirement, she lived a full and active life until she died in April, 2002.
Information submitted by Toney Allman, Frances Carroll's daughter.