The Aug. 2006 issue of Physics Today has a feature article Stories from the early days of quantum mechanics, a transcribed colloquium given by Isidor Isaac Rabi in 1979. To remind you, Rabi was the guy who said Who ordered that? upon the discovery of the muon.
In the discussion, he was asked to elaborate further on the circumstances of his work in Hamburg:
Rabi: "We showed the Germans something that we called the Amerikanische Arbeitsmethode, the American way of working. Usually the laboratory was opened strictly at 7am and then closed at 7pm -- it was all so very un-American. We would come at 10am, and then, around 11 o'clock, the wives would come and make toast, crumpets, and so on while we went on doing our physics experiments. And we finished in very good time. It really worked. Also we were very happy while doing it. We'd have requests from the top floor of the building, Would you please sing more quietly? So it wasn't a time when you gritted your teeth and did an experiment. It was a joy all the time. That's the only way to do physics, I think."
Hey, those were the days!