Growing up in the 1990s, with the Internet floating into my home through the dial-up tubes starting in 10th grade, my only exposure to fatal car accidents was the hyper gruesome pictures to be found on websites like the now defunct Ogrish.com.
The pictures were grotesque and horrifying. It was only in college that I became interested in accident photos from the 1950s, usually sourced from newspaper archives. They are almost art, delicate — they indicate horror but don’t actually reveal it.
Traffic accident at Stocker and LaBrea, 1951
Traffic accident (Sepulveda and Montana — West L. A.), 1951
Auto accident at Ocean Boulevard and 4th Street, Ocean Park, 1951
April 25, 1951. Overturned car in traffic accident at Holy Name Church.
Auto accident in Long Beach, teenagers hurt in crash
(5th Street and Cedar Avenue), June 9, 1951.
Auto accident — Arroyo Seco Parkway, June 9, 1951.
May 30, 1951. Automobile through real estate office at Pacific Boulevard and Hope Street in Walnut Park
All photos sourced from the truly incredible USC Digital Library.