Sooner or later it happens to most of us - a fender bender involving another motorist. Even in Grand Junction and the Mesa County area of the 1950s people found themselves in the occasional jam. Check out these auto accidents of the late 1950s.
Bob Grant was a newsman, so it was his job to show up and photograph most accidents. Keep in mind, photography didn't use to be like it is today. In the 1950s it would be decades before anyone would hear of digital, and the one-hour photo mat was still a dream in someone's mind. There's where Bob Grant came in.
Before We Go Any Further
In selecting the photos for this short gallery I made a point to select photos where it was evident no one was seriously injured. Trust me, there were several graphic images featuring deceased and severely injured. Needless to say, those were not included in this gallery. I've done Robert Grant photo exhibits at shows in the past, and on a few occasions have taken severe heat from people regarding some of the more graphic content. In all fairness to the photographer, he was a newsman, and as a result, frequently had to photograph horrific scenes. For the purpose of this gallery, though, we'll forgo that content in favor of less disturbing images.
On-Call in Grand Junction 24 Hours a Day
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the compact digital camera didn't exist in the 1950s. When an accident, fire, murder, crime, or any other major news event occurred, local authorities called Bob Grant. He was a photographer and had access to a darkroom from which prints could be made quickly.
I can remember several occasions in the 1970s and early 80s when the phone would ring at 2:00 in the morning with a call from the local sheriff. During those years my brother and I lived with Bob Grant, and would, for lack of any better arrangements, have to accompany him on these emergency calls.
Please check out a handful of images from the Grand Junction area. Again, there's nothing graphic about the content.
Car Crashes from the 1950s Around Western Colorado
Here's a brief gallery featuring car accidents around Mesa County. Nothing of a graphic nature has been included in the gallery. All photos by Robert Grant.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Downtown Grand Junction Businesses of Yesterday
If you stop and think about it, several of the business pictured above are still up and running. Most of these photos were taken in the 1950s. Almost 70 years later, many are still going strong. Sure, some have moved to new locations, but others, Quincy's for example, are right where they've always been.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Western Colorado Winters of the Past
Here's a short gallery of Robert Grant photos showcasing Grand Junction and Western Colorado winters. They sure are fun. Then again, sometimes the snow and cold temperatures result in trouble.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Grand Junction Christmas Light Displays of the 1940s
These decorations don't compare to the magnificent blue light display you'll see in the neighborhood in the northwest part of town. It was a different time. Even at that, there's something heartwarming about these 1948 decorations.
These are the best of the best of 1948. I regret I don't know which house placed first, second, etc. In the end, it doesn't matter. They're all great. Take a look at the gallery. Who knows? You might see a house you recognize. For that matter, you might see someone you recognize.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Growers and Farmers of Western Colorado
You'll definitely recognize the surroundings. Bob Grant loved capturing Western Colorado icons in the shot. Whenever possible, he'd get Mt. Garfield in the background. If Mt. Garfield weren't available, he'd get the Bookcliffs, Grand Mesa, or even the Colorado National Monument.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Colorado Cannery Workers from September 1947
Let's go back to Coloroado 1947 with these hard working Americans.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Grand Junction Horses of Yesteryear
Please enjoy a number of Bob Grant photos from the Grand Valley's past. These came from a box labeled "Horse." Yep, that's it, the box was called "Horses." These were selected at random, covering a number of decades.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Awesome Grand Junction Fashion of the Past
Here's a fashion flashback to Grand Junction, Colorado, of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Many of these photos appeared in Sunday inserts promoting new fashions from Downtown Grand Junction merchants.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Random Images of Grand Junction
These 16 photos were chosen strictly at random. All photos are by Robert Grant.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Western Colorado Winters of the 1940s and 50s
Enjoy these winter images captured from various sites around Western Colorado. All images are by Robert Grant. The majority of these shots were pulled at random from a drawer of negatives labelled "January 1949." A few others came from a neighboring file cabinet filled with thousands of Bob Grant prints.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Life Around Grand Junction
Bob Grand photos from Grand Junction's past. People enjoying their lives as they go about their daily routine.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Colorado's Kanarado Mine
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Beauty Pageant Contestants of Western Colorado
Behold Western Colorado's "Miss Atomic Energy" and her attendants, plopped down on a filthy pile of highly toxic uranium ore. Take a trip back in time to Grand Junction of the past with these Bob Grant photos of local beauty queens and pageant contestants.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Grand Junction Father & Son Photos of World War I & II
The photos below are from the personal collections of father and son, James and Robert Grant. James L. Grant of Clifton served in the United States Navy during World War I. Years later, his son, Robert Grant, would serve in the United States Army in World War II.
James L. Grant served as the Postmaster of Clifton. His son, Robert, was the photographer at the Daily Sentinel from the late 1930s until his retirement in 1985. James passed away in 1971, and Robert in 2000.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: JUCO World Series of the Past
Grand Junction has hosted the Junior College World Series for close to half a century. For approximately half of those years, Bob Grant was there with his camera. He continued capturing images of the tournament until his retirement in 1985.
My dad (Bob Grant's son-in-law) went through a ton of Bob Grant negatives to dig up a few memories. Baseball fans are sure to remember many of these shots.
One of Bob Grant's most prized photos would be the first image in the gallery, the shot of the hawks at Suplizio Field. That particular shot won him an award from the Press Photographers Association.
As a Grand Junction native, I really enjoy some of the nostalgia spotted on the signs in the background. Did you see the billboard for "Mr. Steak"? If you were around Grand Junction in the 1970s, you definitely knew about "Mr. Steak."
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Random Photos of Grand Junction Residents of the 1940s
All of these images were lifted from negatives from Bob Grant's career. I have Bob's old negative cabinet at my house. It's loaded with tens of thousands of negatives, most in sleeves, some of which include information as to the contents.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Movies Filmed in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah
Did you know some of your favorite movies from the 1950s and '60s were filmed in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah? Grand Junction photographer Bob Grant had a chance to shoot a few photos from these movie sets.