Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Messmore Brontosaur

The Bottom Dinosaur is Eating a Tiny Man
Image from LisaGenius via flickr.

One of my April Vintage Dinosaur Art posts dealt with the mechanical dinosaurs of the Century of Progress exposition in Chicago, built by the engineering firm Messmore and Damon, pioneers in the field of animatronics. Flickr user LisaGenius has shared a lot of cool old patent illustrations on her photostream, and I recently found this one. I'm not very knowledgable about patents, but I believe that this is a patent for the movements of the Century of Progress brontosaurus.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating. When I get my time machine - something I'm banking all of my life's satisfaction on - I'd love to visit the Century of Progress in 1933 to see these dinosaurs in action. The inherently brittle nature of machines kept these from being as enduring as the Crystal Palace saurians. And while I'm sure they wouldn't have been as stunning as the animatronic dinosaurs we're so used to today, I'm sure they'd be a spectacle all their own.

I haven't been able to find what happened to Messmore and Damon's dinosaurs, but I really want to know. If you've got any information, please share it. Otherwise... the search continues.

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