Chapter II

The War Years: The 1940s  


The Institute of Optics was barely ten years old as the world entered the 1940s with the war already raging in Europe and the United States teetering on the edge of joining the conflict. It was clear to many people that the country would not long be able to stay aloof from the war, and that when we entered optics would be an essential technology. Brian O'Brien moved quickly to position the new Institute which he directed to play a central role in providing the technology needed. As we will see in the series of essays in this section, the Institute was indeed at the center of optical development during the war, with some fifty scientists, engineers, students, and technicians developing new instruments that played important roles in many battles. Hilda Kingslake provides us with a background of people and chronology, and then a series of essays gives us a more detailed and personal view.

  Brian O'Brien in War and Peace: 1940 - 1953

 Hilda Kingslake  

 National Defense Research Committee

 Carlos Stroud


 Carlos Stroud

 Biography of Brian O'Brien

 Walter P. Siegmund and Brian O'Brien, Jr.

 George Fraley Stories

 George Fraley and Carlos Stroud

 A Story of Science in Night Warfare

 Brian O'Brien

 Crossroads Reminiscences

 Brian O'Brien, Jr.

 Herb Graf Remembers

 Carlos Stroud and Maria Schnitzler