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Did you know that Westinghouse processed Uranium for the Atom Bomb?

So...there I was three and a half years ago one evening talking on the phone with my cousin about strange phenomena when she decided to mention the fact that she had been told that Westinghouse-Bloomfield had processed Uranium for the building of the Atomic Bomb during World War II. Now you need to know that the historian in me was immediately alert and full of questions for which she had no answers. Well, what does any historian do, but act like a bloodhound and track down some leads on this story. I went online, started my search, and surprise, found the first of what would be many articles regarding how Westinghouse Bloomfield got into the Uranium business. I  spoke with former colleagues at Bloomfield College, mentioned my new found knowledge about the Westinghouse Bomb Connection to my supervisor at Rutgers University-Newark, and sent out inquiries to various institutions that might house the Westinghouse Archives.

Because I am a believer of Oral History interviewing, I decided that I needed to reach out to former Westinghouse families and/or their families for them to share what they knew about the Uranium. Okay, so I picked up an old copy of a BHS Alumni Directory only to find that it didn't contain one email address---when I began to think about how many stamps it would take, for instance, to land mail all of my former classmates at BHS (a logical first place to find people), I realized that I needed a more up-to-date Directory. Thanks to one kind soul, I soon had a copy of it in my hands. Now began the beginning of what has turned into an adventure...

I cannot begin to tell you how many fascinating stories come from everyday people! Forget about teaching students from a textbook---what had begun as my writing an article about Westinghouse and the Bomb soon went beyond, to my writing the story  of "WE ARE YOUR NEIGHBORS: THE WESTINGHOUSE WORKER, SYMBOL OF THE AMERICAN WORK ETHIC."

The story of the BOMB has become a chapter; as important, if not more so, are the stories of  countless generations of some families who worked in Westinghouse as painters, engineers, pipefitters, purchasing department folk, secretaries, maintenance people, physicists, sales reps, mechanics, and so many other types....so much for me to take in, so much to be shared!

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