Visiting Oak Ridge provided a sense of scale and sense of place unlike anything I’ve read about the Manhattan Project. The Project itself was a massive endeavor, but the physical place itself is on such a large scale it cannot be truly understood unless in person.
The distance between each of the three primary sites — Y-12, X-10, and K-25 — are the equivalent of the distance between small towns in my home state of Indiana. The commute for workers from the townsite to each plant is farther than my commute to work today. Through experiencing these sites firsthand, we can better grasp the monumental scale of the Manhattan Project through its extraordinary impact on our built heritage.
Harriman has a unique history. Incorporated in 1891 as a temperance town in the Appalachians, Harriman was intended to be “an object lesson for thrift, sobriety, intelligence, and exalted moral character, where workers would be uncorrupted by Demon Rum,” as the historical marker explains. The city’s founders envisioned a model city for the world in which Victorian morality could be commercialized for both the betterment of mankind and for business profit. Harriman’s founders believed so strongly in this vision that many of them mortgaged their futures on it.
When he was only five or six years old, James Brennan delivered a pail of water to a farm worker on the grounds of what today is Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The worker took a drink, pulled out a pipe, removed his eyeglasses and lit the pipe by focusing light through the glasses. Brennan […]
When the U.S. Army came to what is now Oak Ridge, TN in 1942 with the Manhattan Project, one thousand families on 56,000 plus acres had to be moved. Half of those acres were in Roane County, the area where K-25 and X-10 are now. Of the people who were ordered to leave on very […]
She kept it under her hat for years, but now, the University of Tennessee’s first statistics graduate discusses how she did her part for the U.S. war effort in the 1940s, including her work with the top-secret Manhattan Project. How’s this for a job description? Manage the compilation of data obtained from a mass spectrometer […]