Extraordinary Photos of Everyday Life in Oak Ridge, the Secret City

Here's a collection of rare historical photos from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a town established by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1942 on an isolated farm. It was a secret location that became one of the most significant sites of the Manhattan Project.

Signs at Graphics Department, 1943-1944

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Workers load uranium slugs into the X-10 Graphite Reactor's 44 by 44 feet (13.4 m) concrete face, 1943

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Barn being used for storage, 1943

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"The Calutron Girls", Y-12, 1944

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Billboards, 1943-1944

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Post office at Christmas time, 1944

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The Atom, 1945

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Line for cigarettes at Williams Drug Store, Jackson Square, 1945

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Entrance to K-25, an uranium enrichment facility, 1945

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The Elza bridge, 1945

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Welding, 1945

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The Oak Ridge Swimming Pool, 1946

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1947

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A.E.C. Girls Club, 1947

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Oak Ridge Journal Staff, 1947

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Santa Claus, 1947

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Sports: Basketball and boxing, 1947

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Aerial of Y-12, 1947

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Wheat Cemetery & Church, 1948

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Ogden Circle, 1948

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Ed Westcott's Camera and Entry Pass, 1940s

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Safety billboard, 1948

To Man and the Atom, an exhibition in 1948

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Dagwood Splits The Atom, 1949

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The whole book is available on Sparehed.

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Willow Brooke School, 1949

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Radioisotope separation and production, 1949

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Mechanical hands, 1949

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Oak Ridge High School, 1951

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Erection of pre-fabs, 1951

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Loading the Graphite Reactor at ORNL, 1952

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Air View of K-25, K-31 and K-33, 1954

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Woodland, 1955

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Atoms for Peace Exhibit Trucks 1956

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Type B home, 1957

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A worker at the Graphite Reactor, 1957

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Manipulators, 1958

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Isotope Storage Area, 1958

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Microwave Spectroscopy, 1958

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Billboards, 1960

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City Sign, 1960

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Zonal Centrifuge Lab work, 1967

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Vibration Testing, 1967

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Safety, 1967

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Big Mouth No. 1, 1970

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Security – That's all!, 1970

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The photos are from doe-oakridge, except when noted otherwise.

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