Monday, November 16, 2015

Welcome to Jurassic Park — Sinclair Oil style

This illustrated postcard showcases Sinclair Dinoland, which was one of the pavilions at the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair.1 It was a popular exhibition a half-century ago, seen by millions2, because, you know, dinosaurs!

There are plenty of websites devoted to the exhibit and its history, and I'll get to those in a moment. But, first, a little more about this used postcard. It was mailed with a 4-cent Lincoln stamp in June 1964 and mailed from the Church Street Station in Manhattan.

The addressee was:

Plant Wire Chief
Bell Telephone Co.
31 S. Mercer St.
New Castle, Penna.

And the note states:

This was a nice exhibition. We didn't even wait in line. We are enjoying ourselves but we will be glad to be back on the job for a rest.
Pauline & Jerry"

Not to be too harsh, but are Pauline & Jerry the reason that Americans today can't relax or take time off from work? They're at the World's Fair and they can't wait to return to work so they can rest? Maybe those Bell Telephone jobs were a bit too cushy.

Anyway, we're not here to judge. Much. We're here for dinosaurs!

For the basic background on the exhibit, here's an excerpt from one of the Sinclair Oil website's history pages:

"Sinclair decided upon a re-enactment of earth life during the Mesozoic age based upon the work of Dr. Barnum Brown, of the American Museum of Natural History, and Dr. John H. Ostrom, of Yale University's Peabody Museum of Natural History, for their 1964-65 New York World's Fair exhibit. Nine life-sized fiberglass dinosaurs were designed and constructed by world-renowned wildlife sculptor Louis Paul Jonas. Animals for the exhibit included the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex, the horned Triceratops, the plated Stegosaurus and of course the ever lovable Apatosaurus.

"Integrating cutting edge animatronics for the day, the beasts took three years to build with a team of paleontologists, engineers and robotics experts. Upon completion, the dinosaurs were barged 125 miles down the Hudson River to the site of New York's World Fair."

And here are some links to articles and videos that will give you additional Dinoland enlightenment:

1. Previous posts about this Fair:
2. Total attendance for the World's Fair, spread out over 12 months in the spring/summer/fall of 1964 and 1965, was 51 million. According to Sinclair Oil, about 10 million fair-goers viewed the Dinoland exhibit.

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