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 result was a secret town named Oak Ridge that housed tens of thousands of workers and their families. 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.
Read more. [Images: Ed Westcott/DOE]