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Wilcox P. Overbeck

Wilcox P. Overbeck was a research associate and instrumentation designer at the Chicago Met Lab. He was responsible for calling out the neutron count when Chicago Pile-1 went critical on December 2, 1942.

Before joining the Manhattan Project, Overbeck graduated from MIT with a degree in Electrical Engineering and worked as an assistant for Vannevar Bush's Rapid Arithmetic Machine, a prototype computer. He concentrated on tube design.

After the success of CP-1, Overbeck worked for DuPont at Oak Ridge and Hanford, where he became superintendent of instrumentation. He later became the director of the Savannah River Site.


Wilcox P. Overbeck's Timeline

  • 1912 Born in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
  • 1940 to 1942 Worked on tube design for a prototype computer named the Rapid Arithmetical Machine as an assistant to Vannevar Bush.
  • 1942 Joined the Manhattan Project as an instrumentation designer at the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory.

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