From the U.S. Department of Energy National Atomic Museum
resent. The completed device was raised to the top of a 100-foot steel tower on Saturday, July 14. During this process workers piled up mattresses beneath the gadget to cushion a possible fall. When the bomb reached the top of the tower without mishap, installation of the explosive detonators began. The 100-foot tower (a surplus Forest Service fire-watch tower) was designated Point Zero. Ground Zero was at the base of the tower.
As a result of all the anxiety surrounding the possibility of a failure of the test, a verse by an unknown author circulated around Los Alamos. It read:
From this crude lab that spawned a dud. Their necks to Truman's ax uncurled Lo, the embattled savants stood, and fired the flop heard round the world.
A betting pool was also started by scientists at Los Alamos on the possible yield of the Trinity test. Yields from 45,000 tons of TNT to zero were selected by the various bettors. The Nobel Prize-winning (1938) physicist Enrico Fermi was willing to bet anyone tha