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Talk to Terrie: Celebrating the Life of Ed Wescott

April 16, 2019

April 16, 2019

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One of the most celebrated civilians in the history of the Oak Ridge is Ed Wescott.  For those you who do not recognize his name, Mr. Wescott was the official U.S. government’s photographer of the work done at the secret city of Oak Ridge.

His photographs captured the Manhattan Engineering District’s personnel during World War II and the equipment used to develop the atomic bomb from the three Oak Ridge sites – Y-12, K-25 and X-10.

Many of his photographs are world renowned including this one showing the cubicle operators at control panels of calutrons at Y-12 from 1944.

His work includes photographs of the Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves and other contributors to the development of the bomb. He also carefully preserved the many aspects of the workers and their families’ social life, giving us a glimpse of what life was like for people living in a secret city.


Jackson Square Little Theater ticket booth with Sarah Hicks selling tickets to unidentified man. (02/06/1946)

Mr. Wescott photographed activities in Oak Ridge from 1942 to 1966 when he transferred to the Atomic Energy Commission’s Headquarters in Germantown, MD.

Mr. Wescott passed away on March 29, 2019 at the age of 97.  Our condolences to his family and friends.

His work is preserved by the Manhattan Project National Park and can be viewed at the following two links.