I present some early history of Los Alamos, modern computing, and the Monte Carlo method to describe the likely context in which the Metropolis algorithm was developed and to support the special creativity of the development. I also note the scant immediate use of the algorithm over the 10 to 15 years after its development and speculate why. This sparse use however did include many seminal applications and led to many of the techniques still used today. This is the heritage enjoyed by us who today unhesitatingly use the Metropolis algorithm and the Monte Carlo method more generally, for exploring the properties of physical systems.

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