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Uphill Both Ways

Volume 9 - Boston 1956


equitable while we each harbor our own cupidity and in our trading of things, we give away and receive what we need for our purposes. So the world goes around. And Al got his I-beam. For dad. And they lived happily every after - that’s how I want to end it.

Comments about Kronosaurus

Now a few observations about this revolutionary mounting technique. Dad never published anything about it. Perhaps it didn’t strike him as worthy of publication? I don’t think so. He found it newsworthy to publish his article about using foam to cast dinosaur bones, a trivial exercise compared to this monumental innovative mount of Kronosaurus. So why not Kronosaurus? Perhaps the implementation of the concept was itself sufficient recognition for him.

I stated above that his method has influenced all dinosaur mounts since then, an extravagant thing to say, isn’t it, particularly when I haven’t done any real research into the matter. So what do I mean when I say that and why do I say that? Simply because up to that time, mounts were the old “Stand them up Harry, hold him! while I put a wire on ‘im, strap bands on them, make them look like bone scarecrows”. No beauty, no verisimilitude, no artistry, no refinement. Just a properly articulated pile of bones, order created out of a boneyard.

You see, up to the time of dad’s mount, dinosaur skeletons were assembled for purely scientific reasons. Study of articulations and bones didn’t require beauty and metal supporting structures didn’t really detract from that type of study as long as the person could visualize each bone and the entire skeleton. When the public saw these extravagant creatures, even with their grossly ugly structural supports, it was enchanted. Dinosaurs capture the imagination of everyone as witnessed by the perennial flood of new dinosaur books every year. The public has an unsatisfiable fascination in and affection for these giant creatures, so it will put up with the ugly just to see the skeletons.

But dad transformed that method, brought beauty, created a new way of introducing these creatures to the world. The reason I say that his method has transformed mounts is that every mount I’ve seen recently shows that the amount of visible structural steel has diminished remarkably.

Now, I have to point out that he was at a nexus in time, one of those seminal moments when something is in the air, when several people come up with the same idea. For example, Peabody Museum on the ethnology side was undergoing dramatic renovations. In the Maya-Inca section entire rooms had been painted black, all

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