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Uphill Both Ways

Volume 9 - Boston 1956


When the time came to clear out all of the specimens, it turned out that one of them was too large to go through the door. A wall had been built after it had been mounted and the double doors weren’t large enough. So a magnificent six-foot wide, 5 foot-tall white brain coral had to be hacked into halved with hammers and cold chisels, taking out a 6 inch wide swath that could not be replaced later.

Some limited demolition necessary to have access to the bearing walls. After removing the unnecessary elements they started to create the structure that would bear the weight of Kronosaurus.

The first element was a set of 2 x 4's that were spaced on 16-18 inch centers. They represented the basic framework for this mount, and were securely fixed to the brick walls. This photo shows the east wall with these studs in place, looking like someone was going to put sheet rock up next. That’s Arnie leaning over the abdominal cavity. Note on the left half of the photo near the top a curve behind the wall studs. That’s the frame of one of the exterior windows that was permanently - obviously- covered as part of the preparation of the room.

The second element was designed specifically for the skull. The whole skeleton is immense, but most of the elements were not exceedingly heavy. The skull was the exception. I do now know how much it weighed but it was heavy, particularly with the armature of steel that had to be buried inside to hold the 9- foot long skull together, and to support the immense mandible that had to be secured.

The whole mount illustrates dad’s conception of concealing supporting structures from view. You see that when looking at the photo in Stage 1. But most viewers won’t be able to understand that the skull and mandible represent a fundamentally different method from the ribs, paddles, and spine. In order for the immense skull and mandible to be free of external steel structures, the steel structures had to be embedded inside the skull. That was the first time dad had

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