He was one of the first workers hired in Oak Ridge as part of the top-secret race to build the world’s first atomic bombs during World War II.
At only 20 years old, he became the chief photographer for what was then the Manhattan Engineer District, Clinton Engineer Works. He was the only person authorized to take pictures in the “Secret City” during the Manhattan Project, and he captured some classic moments, including the jubilation of Oak Ridge residents the day they learned World War II had ended.
Now 91, Ed Westcott was honored for his historic photography in a surprise ceremony this month. He was given the Muddy Boot Award by the East Tennessee Economic Council. The awards, which have been given out since 1973, pay tribute to people who have made East Tennessee a stronger region through their work and community activities.
“Ed’s photographs are so broadly used that they literally express our history and visually tell the unique story of Oak Ridge and its impact on East Tennessee, the Southeast, the nation, and even the world,” said Ray Smith, Y-12 National Security Complex historian. “So, he definitely qualifies for Muddy Boot consideration. Without Ed’s thousands of wonderful images, we would not be nearly as able to present our history.” [Read more…]