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Uphill Both Ways

Volume 9 - Boston 1956


In the 1950's, there were obviously no digital cameras, and no electronic gizzmos like you grew up with. There were none of these neat little flash tubes all cameras have today. The only source of light for photos was either photo flood lights or flash bulbs. So: in order for dad to get sufficient light, he either had to cart in a bunch of incandescent lights or he had to buy a bunch of these flash bulbs. They were expensive. My estimate would be a dollar or more apiece in today’s currency and since we were living on a shoe string, he simply could not afford to use our limited money to buy what would have been perceived as a frivolous hobby. And since these photos were his personal ones, he couldn’t ask Dr. Romer to pay for them. Why would the museum buy him expensive flash bulbs for his personal use? So dad took photos using ambient light and in most of the cases it was inadequate. The few photos you’ll see that are minimally well lighted were done with half a dozen lights as you will see in the photos. Figure 9 http://www.ozcamera.com/photo%2010/ 1036.jpg

Back to the vision. It is obvious that dad did not simply embark on this huge process without extensive plans. I watched for any drawings of Kronosaurus in his papers and didn’t see any even though there are many rough drawings of other ideas that came to his mind. That was how his mind worked, visual and tactile, so drawings were natural for him to use to lay out this project. They were just discarded when the project was completed.

The mounting process took into account a wide variety of factors including but not limited to these:

  • 1.

    The dimensions of the room where it would be mounted

  • 2.

    The dimensions of the creature - he naturally had to have a catalog of all the bones in the creature which include in general the 9-foot long skull, the 4 paddles, the shoulder girdle and ribs, the spine consisting of 80+ vertebrae running from the skull to the tip of the tail, the abdominal structure (probably termed ‘gastralia’), and the pelvic girdle

  • 3.

    The weight of the various bones and their location

  • 4.

    The size and shape of the frameworks that would support the various elements of the skeleton

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