Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 038


Lewis Winfield Davis was born February 7, 1914 in Auburn, Maine to Wilbur and Gertrude Davis. His father worked for a bank and his mother was a housewife. A science scholar, Lewis graduated from Bates College in 1936 with a B.S. in Chemistry and Physics and later went to MIT and Northeastern University. He worked as a researcher for most of his life for General Electric and then Metal Hydrides. He became president of Metal Hydrides, Inc. in 1970 after many years as a chemist and manager. While there, Lewis worked on Uranium with Einstein to help produce the world’s first atomic bomb and the development of nuclear technology. He was on the executive board of Trustees at Bates College for ten years.

Scope and Content Note

Interview covers such topics as: Auburn, Maine; Davis’s Republican family background; the Depression; his Bates College years; Ed Muskie’s personality; his career in chemistry research; the Recession period; the Manhattan Project; the evolution of Uranium and its supply during WWII; the development of nuclear technology and the atomic bomb; his business dealings with Muskie; Bates College professors in the 1930s; and Muskie’s characteristics.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.