”Here is a new tool for mankind, a tool of unimaginable destructive power. Its development raises many questions that must be answered in the near future… In a free country like ours, such questions should be debated by the people and decisions must be made by the people through their representatives. This is one reason for the release of this report. It is a semi-technical report which it is hoped men of science in this country can use to help their fellow citizens in reaching wise decisions. The people of the country must be informed if they are to discharge their responsibilities wisely.” -H.D. Smyth
RARE LITHOPRINT ISSUE – THE FIRST OBTAINABLE PRINTING – OF THE FIRST ACCOUNT OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECT AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ATOMIC BOMB. ONE OF SMYTH’S OWN COPIES, SIGNED BY HIM ON THE TITLE PAGE. PMM 422e.
Released to the public on 12 August 1945, just six days after the bombing of Hiroshima, the “Smyth Report” (as it came to be known) contained a full account of the development work carried out between 1940 and 1945 by the Manhattan Project that culminated in the production of the first atomic bomb.
The first version of the report was a mimeographed copy (identifiable by the word “secret” stamped on every page), hand-delivered by military messenger, which the recipients were required to read immediately and return to the waiting messenger. These mimeographed copies were apparently destroyed for security reasons, as no copies, either whole or in parts, have been recorded in existence except for Smyth’s master copy housed at Princeton. 1,000 copies were then lithoprinted from typescript [the offered version] in the facility for reproducing secret documents in the Adjutant General's Office in the Pentagon.
Provenance: Smyth was given a small number of copies for his own personal use. In the late 1970s Smyth was cleaning out his office at Princeton and found a few copies of the original lithoprinted version. At the request of Princeton University, he signed the copies and presented them to the university. This is one of those copies. It is complete, and contains three repeated leaves. Because the leaves were gathered for binding in great haste and under the pressure of tight security precautions, the surviving copies often contain missing and/or repeated leaves. No leaves are missing in this copy.
References: PMM 422e; Norman 1962; Coleman, The ‘Smyth Report’: A Descriptive Checklist, no. 3. See: “The ‘Smyth Report’” by H.D. Smyth, The Princeton University Library Chronicle, Vol. 37, No. 3, Spring 1976.
[Washington, D.C.: Adjutant General's Office, 1945.] Quarto (8x10.5 in.; 265 x 201 mm), stapled in the original cream textured stiff paper covers. Printed by lithoprint from stencils made by multiple typewriters. A little (very minor) soiling to wrappers, but still fine - one of the nicest copies we’ve seen. RARE SIGNED.
Note: A custom box can be made for this item for an additional $250..
Price: $7,500 .