Richard Feynman talks about his time working as a research chemist, an intermediate job he took after graduating from college and before his work at Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project. Feynman gives us an insight on what jobs were available for physicists around the time of The Great Depression, namely in electronics, optics and physical chemistry.
Feynman also tells us some stories about one of his old friends who introduced him to the field of applied chemistry used for metal plating.
One of Richard Feynman’s first projects was to develop technology for electroplating metal onto plastic. Feynman developed the original idea of his friend, Bernie Walker, into a successful invention, allowing his employer (and friend) to keep commercial promises he had made but could not have fulfilled otherwise.
Feynman also mentions meeting Frederic de Hoffmann who was interested in the metal plating of plastics. Frederic de Hoffmann was another Manhattan Project scientist, who would later design the “Project Orion” starship and go on to be the first President of General Atomics.