Wednesday, February 6, 2013

When Dinosaurs Walked the Earth

Whenever Steve Bergman (a.k.a. Samuel Shem, the author of The Spirit of the Place) talks about Hudson as a "town of breakage," he invariably mentions the life-sized replica of a brontosaurus that "broke the back of its barge and sank, its neck poking out of the Hudson River in the most lifelike way."

The ill-fated brontosaurus was one of nine dinosaurs created by the Louis Paul Jonas Studios in Claverack for Dinoland, the Sinclair Oil Corporation's exhibition at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. Recently Joan Lezette posted this photograph on Your [sic] Probably from Hudson, evidence that despite the mishap upriver, the dinosaurs made it to their destination.

Seeking more information about the dinosaurs and their journey to Flushing Meadows, Gossips discovered a website devoted to the 1964 New York World's Fair and its attractions, among them Dinoland. Several original brochures from the dinosaur exhibition are reproduced here, as well as an accounting of where all the dinosaurs are today and this explanation of "why Sinclair is interested in dinosaurs": "Sinclair uses the Dinosaur 'Brontosaurus' as a symbol to dramatize the age and quality of the crude oils from which Sinclair Petroleum Products are made--crudes which were mellowing in the earth millions of years ago when Dinosaurs lived."

1 comment:

  1. I remember seeing three of the dinosaurs at 7th Street Park when I was 4 or 5. T Rex, Brontosaurus and Tricerotops if I remember correctly. Particularly impressive at that age.

    And then there was the helium balloon that I took home afterwards that survived a couple of days before it died. That was fun, too.