The 20th Century saw plenty of innovations and growth, but not everything that came out of this period was necessarily as great as it was once perceived.

Read More: Remembering the Forgotten Town and Story of Uravan Colorado |

Over the years, scientists have discovered the harmful effects of things like cigarettes, fossil fuels, and radioactive materials, to name a few.

Of course, the first nuclear weapon used was by the United States at the end of World War II, but the Cold War that followed shortly thereafter saw continued mining and enrichment of these radioactive materials and a photo from this era shows a stark contrast between the 1950s and today regarding uranium.

Colorado Cold War-Era Photo Shows Miss Atomic Energy Accepting Prize

In case you're not familiar, the Cold War era saw a number of efforts by the United States Government regarding harnessing nuclear energy in Western Colorado.

For example, the town of Uravan was known at the time for being a hotbed for uranium mining and eventually became so contaminated that it had to be abandoned, and atomic bomb testing took place just outside of Grand Junction as well.

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However, in 1955, the Uranium Ore Producers Association and the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce further promoted the nuclear era by crowning Denver's Karen Keeler the official Miss Atomic Energy that year.

While this alone seems odd, it becomes even more shocking that Keeler was awarded a prize of 11.2 tonnes of uranium ore.

Take a trip back in time to see Miss Atomic Energy Karen Keeler claiming her prize by visiting this link on the official Living in Grand Junction Colorado Facebook page.

Remembering the Forgotten Town and Story of Uravan Colorado

Uravan Colorado was once a uranium mining town. However, because the radiation left behind was making people ill, it was burned, buried, and is now considered extinct.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

Western Colorado has a History of Unsuccessful Nuclear Bomb Tests

Years ago, Western Colorado was the site of multiple unsuccessful nuclear bomb detonations. 

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

Eerie Video from 1969 Outlines Colorado’s Failed Nuclear Past

Footage from 1969 describing the failed Project Rulison nuclear tests in Western Colorado serves as an eerie window into the state’s explosive past.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde