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RE: Popularity of dinosaurs in the 1920s/30s? (King Kong question)



Dinosaurs' popularity (in the USA at least) seemed to begin around 1868
(at this time, the _Hadrosaurus foulkii_ skeleton was mounted at The
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, at no charge, by Benjamin
Waterhouse Hawkins).  The mount was an immediate sensation.  (ANSP _did_
charge for admission, and made quite a bit of money!)  It was the first
mounted dinosaur in the world, and Hawkins soon received orders for
copies from Princeton, Chicago and the Smithsonian.  (The very same
Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins who built the dinosaur sculptures for the
Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1853-54, and the famous "Dinner in a
Dinosaur" - which was an unfinished _Iguanodon_ sculpture for the
Exhibition).  

When Marsh and Cope began their feud, and began bringing back the
tremendous specimens from the American West, American interest was
extremely high.  I believe that there were front page, dueling letters
in the New York Times.  (Jane Davidson or Thom Holmes can correct me, or
further elucidate).  This was in the 1870's through 1890's.  

Around the 1890's through the turn of the century (i.e. 1900), people
were not as interested in dinosaurs.  If I recall (and this is done with
no reference material - along with a sinus infection being treated with
antibiotics), there were a few major recessions, and of course the
Spanish-American War (1898).  I'm not sure of dino popularity in 1900
thru 1920, but bear in mind that America saw the assassination of
President McKinley in 1901. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote "The Lost World" in 1910 (it would be 1925
before the silent movie came out).  The first dinosaur animated cartoon
was "Gertie the Dinosaur" in 1914, but any resurgence in dino popularity
was put on hold due to World War I, and the Influenza pandemic. 

Allan Edels 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] On Behalf
Of Richard W Travsky
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 4:22 PM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Popularity of dinosaurs in the 1920s/30s? (King Kong
question)

On Tue, 14 Jan 2003, Stephan Pickering wrote:
> REPLY: I am unsure as to the meaning of "popular". In

Ah, you know, popular. Like a movie star is popular. Like dinosaurs are
popular now.

I'm not after the total development of the movie, but trying to
ascertain
the public's interest in dinosaurs in the late 1920s early 1930s time
frame and whether this was a factor in using dinosaurs in the movie.
Would
they have used something else? Or not used anything at all?

> [...]