Monday, July 26, 2010

Fat Man

Hanford, Washington

Hanford Engineer Works (1944)
Soon after a woman sold me an old Christmas menu online, she wrote to let me know something about it. Her father had been a machinist who rode the rails looking for work in the 1930s. He eventually landed a job at the Hanford Engineer Works in Washington State, where he worked for the Manhattan Project during World War II. In 1944, he enclosed this holiday bill of fare in a letter to his family in Chicago as a way of reassuring them that he was okay. There was a hand-written notation on the back of the menu that summarized its story. It read “atom bomb job.”