A basement was thought to the most prudent place because the Botany School floors were no match for the five tons of metal required to shield the radiocarbon detection system, or counter.
The coal was thoughtfully removed and the freshly painted cell was readied for the third man, me, and I started work on 1st December, 1952.
As far as the experimental aspect of radiocarbon was concerned, he was almost antediluvian.
He was wedded to the screen wall Geiger counter, a cumbersome, inefficient, but quite workable device.
One of the better ones was of course Radiocarbon Dating itself, and thoroughly deserved the Nobel Prize.
It was a beautiful piece of intuitive deductive thinking, backed up by the barest minimum of experimental effort to demonstrate its validity.
After all, it did not go bang, was a direct product of combustion, and the chemistry was straightforward.
It too had an unfortunate quality - nobody knew how to make it work as a counting gas.
In many ways the era was analogous to today's computer explosion where fortune favours the young and the brave.
One may detect the deliberate use of the word 'build', and not 'operate' for, as we shall see, few had discovered the magic formula for making it work.
But Libby had proved the practicality of his hypothesis, and he was forever proud of the bright young people who had followed in his wake.
Alfred Maddock had already come to the conclusion that, since radiocarbon was a weak Beta emitter, gas proportional counting was the way to go.
It promised to create an absolute chronology where speculation had been rife; it promised to vindicate imaginative theories and their champions; and it threatened the cherished beliefs of distinguished authorities which, through much repetition, had been endowed with gospel-like qualities.