Home > OLD TIME PHOTO COLLECTION > WALTER HOWARD WILLIAMS' Albums > Walter H. Williams - Oak Ridge - Th… > The Secret City in Oak Ridge Tennessee, early…

The Secret City in Oak Ridge Tennessee, early 1940's

Starting in 1942, the U.S. government began quietly acquiring more than 60,000 acres in Eastern Tennessee for the Manhattan Project -- the secret World War II program that developed the atomic bomb. The government needed land to build massive facilities to refine and develop nuclear materials for these new weapons, without attracting the attention of enemy spies. The result was a secret town named Oak Ridge that housed tens of thousands of workers and their families. The entire town and facility were fenced in, with armed guards posted at all entries. Workers were sworn to secrecy and only informed of the specific tasks they needed to perform. Most were unaware of the exact nature of their final product until the nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945. Photographer Ed Westcott (the only authorized photographer on the facility) took many photos of Oak Ridge during the war years and afterwards, capturing construction, scientific experiments, military maneuvers, and everyday life in a 1940s company town (where the company happens to be the U.S. government).

Slideshow
The Girls of Atomic City  The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War
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The Girls of Atomic City The Untold…
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Oak Ridge-1945. This is Nora Dene (LAWSON) Williams, wife of Walter "Walt" Williams.
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Oak Ridge-1945. This is Nora Dene (L…
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Oak Ridge-1945. This is Nora Dene (LAWSON) Williams, wife of Walter "Walt" Williams.
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Oak Ridge-1945. This is Nora Dene (L…
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Girl Scouts
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Girl Scouts
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Trailers
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Trailers
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Y-12 - Oak Ridge, maybe in early 1950's.
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Y-12 - Oak Ridge, maybe in early 195…
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Walt Williams, at Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville Al 1960 and 1970
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Walt Williams, at Marshall Space Fli…
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