Sunday, December 30, 2012

New York World's Fair 1964-1965: Return of the Dinosaurs

Going with my immediate family at four years old to the New York World's Fair in the mid-1960s was an early salient event.  Not only did the "Goldfinger car" stand out (James Bond's 1964 Aston Martin DB5), but so did many dinosaurs large and small. The real small ones that we got as souvenirs, made of some waxy substance, melted in the back of our car in the hot sun. The really big ones -- two of them at any rate -- were later relocated to Dinosaur Valley State Park outside of Glen Rose, Texas. I saw them today -- for the first time since I was four! 

At the "Friends of . . ." concession building inside Dinosaur Valley, Maud Gibbs, now in her mid-80s, told me how she, too, had gone to the New York World's Fair in 1965, flying up from Texas with a daughter. She had several tales to run by me -- about the history of the area, the locals who'd discovered the dinosaur tracks, the paleontologists, the location of various relics and the more recent discovery of dinosaur fossils in Glen Rose proper, "behind the Comfort Inn, accross from Sonic." Several major fossils found in the area can be examined in museums in NYC and Fort Worth, Texas.

My friend Evan also went to the New York 1964-1965 World's Fair, with his Dad. That's him standing by T. Rex.

This is the same T. Rex today, the penultimate day of 2012. Temporarily propped up by some weird T-bar rod thing, awaiting minor repairs. Note how his (or her?) mouth is slightly more agape than in Evan's snapshot at the World's Fair.

Charles and Lana Gramlich checked out this exact same area about a year and a half ago, so I knew from their web-published photographs and incisive observations pretty much what to expect, and what to look for. It was only in the past week that I came to understand the World's Fair connection, though, which finally got me moving. (Note to Charles: the nearby Creationist Museum was closed again. I'll take a gander at some point, hopefully, and report my findings).

Today's Rune: Signals.


Charles Gramlich said...

I enjoyed our stay in Glen Rose. We passed the dinosaur park. We saw the footprints but didn't go in to these exhibits. There's a great little park in the town called "Great stone park" or something like that, which was pretty cool.

Bill Cotter said...

It was great to see the Sinclair dinosaurs on your blog. I haven't seen them in person in Texas but hope to some day.

I have shots of them at the Fair on my site at

They sure were a big hit at the Fair. They're one of the most talked about memories when people contact me about the Fair.

Thanks for the recent pictures.


Randy Treadway said...

In 1964-65, T-Rex's mouth was mechanical and opened and closed. That's why it appears more closed in the period photograph, compared to today.

Erik Donald France said...

Thank you all for the comments and clarifications ~ much appreciated ~!

Now let's bring another World's Fair to the USA, can we?

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks to Bill Cotter one more time.

Excellent cultural resources available here: