Oak Ridge National Laboratory

 

News Release

Media Contact: Sarah Wright ()
Communications and External Relations

 

Coffee table book features history of Oak Ridge National Laboratory

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 23, 2008 — Every picture tells a story, especially when the pictures are of the people and places that are the foundation of almost 70 years of history at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

"A Laboratory Reborn" is a new 90-page coffee table book that features hundreds of images documenting work at the lab and life in the early days of Oak Ridge. The book chronicles ORNL's evolution from a secret wartime installation, to a post-war laboratory dedicated to nuclear research, to the current role as the Department of Energy's largest multi-purpose laboratory. The book's title comes from the final section, dedicated to the recent modernization project that transformed the laboratory into one of the world's leading research institutions.

"Our goal was a book that combined the remarkable scientific story of the lab with the equally remarkable human story of the men and women who founded Oak Ridge," said ORNL Director Thom Mason.

The book's historical and contemporary photographs are grouped into three sections. Presented in black and white, pictures from the Manhattan Project era show the construction of the laboratory and "Secret City" in the hills of Tennessee. Rare photos reveal details of life in a community that swelled to 75,000 in only three years, including segregated housing, tight military security, and the ever-present mud that defined much of early Oak Ridge.

Photographs from the post-war years depict the laboratory's transition to a research institution. The photos include a number of famous visitors to ORNL, including presidential candidate John Kennedy and his wife Jackie in 1960. The three decades after the war at ORNL were a period of pioneering research in the fields of medicine, biology, materials and physics.

By the late 1990s, many of ORNL's buildings, built during and shortly after World War II, were rapidly deteriorating. Color photographs of the modern era document the rebirth of the lab's infrastructure and illustrate ORNL's emergence as an international leader in energy, advanced materials, neutron sciences, biological systems, national security, and high performance computing. As in the historical section, the book stresses the human side of today's ORNL staff and UT-Battelle's role in the Oak Ridge community.

The book is available for $19.95 at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge (http://www.amse.org/) and can be purchased at the museum or by calling (865) 576-3229.