Hanford Declassified Photo Collection on Flickr

No Comedy of Errors

Read the introduction to the Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project paintings

783 pics are now up in my Flickr collection of public domain photos culled from the Hanford Declassified Project. The carefully chosen selection is enough to give a sense of the trailer city, the unique war time boom town, and its mindset.

Proof that they took time from processing plutonium to dance the cancan, play violin, and hold flower shows

To the best of my ability, and where possible, I’ve tried to arrange the photos so they are in chronological order, though have departed at points where it seemed impractical. The Hanford Declassified Project contains both photos from during the war years and after. While photos from the WWII years of 1942-1945 usually were undated in the archive, they are distinguishable from post-war photos as they seem to normally bear an archive number in the lower right hand corner. Post WWII photos were sometimes dated but, again, they often were not and I’ve had to hazard a guess as to placement.

One of the reasons I’ve gone through the trouble of creating this collection is that the Hanford Declassifed Project site’s search function isn’t user-friendly, very few keywords having been utilized.

For images of pre-government settlers of the Hanford area, visit the Dept. of Energy Hanford Site Historical Photo Gallery.

4 Replies to “Hanford Declassified Photo Collection on Flickr”

  1. Julie,

    Just to correct something in one of the pictures. There is one of a photographer, named Bob Johnson. That is totally incorrect. His name was Robley L. Johnson (Rob Johnson). He was the Chief Photographer for the Manhattan Project and most ALL Hanford pictures displayed here from the 40’s were taken by him. How do I know this…he was my father.

  2. Thank you! And it’s good to hear from you, Cat. I’ve seen other names in the Hanford Declassified Project that were erroneous, and it really leaves me scratching my head that they wouldn’t even name properly the Chief Photographer. I’ve added your note to the photograph on Flickr correcting the ID.

    I hope you don’t mind my asking a couple questions. When you say he was the Chief Photographer for the Manhattan Project, you mean the entire project, not just Hanford? Was Hanford his home base, and he had no other photographers working with him at Hanford as all of these at Hanford were taken by him? I’m trying to get a picture of how this worked.

    Do you know how he came into photography? I’m assuming he continued working in photogaphy afterwards? Would you care to tell anything more about his career?

    1. Juli,

      I just saw this. My daddy, Robley L. Johnson was the Chief Photographer for the Manhatten Project-Hanford. He did have a small staff as I recall, but most all the old Handfor pictures from that era were taken by him. He got into photography as a young man.
      After the war, rather than transfering with Dupont, he decided to stay in Richland, opening his own studio. He had become good friends with Col. Mathias, was fortunate to get a 10 year gov. contract for all their photos, including arials. He was very well known in the area, took most all school pictures, weddings, etc. He had an amazing creative eye. He befriended and mentored John Clements, a very well known local photographer living in Richland today. He is probably the most famous, unknown photographer due to tge secret of the Hanford site.
      The REACH Museum in Richland has a wonderful display on him and his work. If you get the chance, you should go see it.

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