28 June 2012

Everyday life at Oak Ridge

Two images from a photoessay at The Atlantic's In Focus column, depicting life at the Oak Ridge (Tennessee) facility of the Manhattan Project in the 1940s.

BTW, I'll bet the kid in the top photo wishes he had kept those comic books.  That Captain Marvel, Jr. #31 from 1945 is listed at $150 on eBay right now.

Photo credit James E. Westcott/DOE (upper) and Ed Westcott/DOE.


  1. Wow. Look at all those white faces, although it does look like there's a lot of ethnic clothing from around Europe.

  2. I grew up in Oak Ridge. The facilities that still exist there pull in top minds from all over the world. It is a very culturally diverse population at this point. Oh, and when I was in junior high, we didn't have to run our usual mile on Wednesdays for a whole spring because they found uranium buried on our school grounds. Fun times.

    Most of the houses in the older "planned" section of town are smallish and uniform. Housing was provided to the workers who came to work at the plants. Also, the way the town sits in a valley, there were not too many ways in and out of town. The old guard stations are still present on either end of the turnpike that runs through the center of the valley.

  3. Indeed. If the kid had invested the 0.05 USD he made from the comic book (in the DJIA) he would only have 37 USD, so the comic book was the better investment by about a factor of four.


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