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Re: Hello may I join in?

> "Sandra Atkins" <sarn@thesmile.org> wrote:
> I have been a Dino nut since I was very young and my parents took me to a 
> place called Crystal Palace near London, and
> I was able to sit on the wonderful full size models that were on show there.  
> You can?t get near them now, they have been
> put on a island in the park to keep them from being damaged.
>  I was not very happy to hear later that they were not anatomically correct, 
> and when I go there now with the kids I do see
> their point,  But it didn?t/doesn?t stop my joy when I see them.  I just 
> wonder who built them, and how they were
> constructed without all this modern technology which you youngsters take for 
> granted. I thought my Father used to say they
> were part of the ?Festival of Britain? held in 1951 but I never found out if 
> this was true. I would be very interested if
> anybody knows if it is?

The Crystal Palace dinosaurs were built by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins
in 1854.  The Crystal Palace itself was originally erected in Hyde Park
as the home of the Great Exhibition of 1851.  The Palace was then moved
to Sydenham (now known as Crystal Palace), where it was used as an
exhibition centre until it burned to the ground in 1936.  It has been
described as the Millennium Dome of its day, and the dinosaur figures
were part of a "prehistoric zone".

In addition to the three dinosaurs (Megalosaurus, Hylaeosaurus and
Iguanodon) there are models of a mosasaur, an ichthyosaur, some
plesiosaurs, some labyrinthodonts, and assorted extinct mammals.  They
are made out of brick, iron and plaster (although the original
Hylaeosaurus head has been replaced with a fibreglass one).

While the figures have long been known to be anatomically inaccurate,
they were state of the art at the time - the Victorian equivalent of the
Walking With Dinosaurs animations - and had the blessing of the great
Richard Owen, coiner of the term "dinosaur" and the Victorian equivalent
of... Robert Bakker?  Jack Horner?  Tom Holtz?