Born in New Jersey on February 10, 1925, Jean Rinehart’s family came to America in the 1600s.  Rinehart was a student at both Rutgers University and Princeton in her youth. The time of World War II heavily affected her, with several relatives going into war.

Rinehart was an example of an ambitious woman in a time when women were marginalized in academia and industry.  Sometimes she would be the only woman in her courses at Rutgers and Princeton University. Rinehart worked on the Manhattan Project while at the chemical corporation DuPont. Among her notable experiences, she tested and studied Teflon, the material used in non-stick frying pans and more. In this interview, Rinehart discusses many memories and experiences throughout her life, from being a member of the Manhattan Project to being a historian and owning a farm.

The Rutgers Oral History Archives received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. In the 2023-2024 cycle, this grant assisted the ROHA staff in making this oral history available to you for your use.