Throwback Thursday — The Sample in the Cigar Box

The first sample of Plutonum-239, first created in 1940 by a team led by Dr. Glenn Seaborg. This photo shows the sample in a cigar box where Seaborg stored it and discovered its fission properties in March 1941. Courtesy of The Creative Services Office, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

“Back in the day,” people stashed all kinds of treasures in cigar boxes, including family photos, or used them as handy storage bins for sewing supplies or loose change. This cigar box was used for a different purpose. It held the first sample of Plutonium-239, first created in 1940 by a team led by Dr. Glenn Seaborg. Seaborg stored the sample in this box, after discovering its fission properties in March 1941.

Courtesy of the Creative Services Office, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.