It was a little after 8 a.m. on July 28, 1954, when a park employee noticed a crack in the pavement of the Prospect Point viewing area next to the American Falls. The crack started about 40 feet upstream of the crest of the falls and ran parallel to the cliff edge for about 280 feet. The area was roped off and a crowd soon gathered to await the collapse of the point.
Among the large crowd was photographer Frank O. Seed, who had captured the collapse of the Honeymoon Bridge in January of 1938. At 4:50 p.m. he captured on film the dramatic images of the collapse used in the animation below. It is estimated that 185,000 tones of rock tumbled into the gorge. Witnesses reported that a haze of rock dust and mist filled the gorge. A strong stench of sulphur was also reported.
Using my digital camera, I obtained the three images used in the animation from a display in the Orin Lehman Visitors Center, located about 800 feet east of the point. I used PhotoFix to edit and enhance the photos, and then used GifBulider to create the animation.
This information may not be reproduced without written permission.