Monday, April 23, 2012

Vintage Dinosaur Art Repost: Lou Bedford's Mesozoic Menagerie

I thought it would be a good idea to share an older Vintage Dinosaur Art post again to help this train keep chugging along. It's a brief one, but I have a soft spot for the odd little dinosaur news stories I find in old magazines. I have a brief update to this one, following the original post.

Here's a charming little story I found in a 1941 issue of Pop Sci, available at Google books. I'm really curious about what happened to old Lou Bedford's fanciful dinosaur models. Mouldering in an basement? Auctioned off in an estate sale? Destroyed in a tragic inferno?

The article says that he worked in Hollywood as a special effects man, but the only Lou Bedford on IMDB is an actor born in 1930. Either this guy had a bad case of the Benjamin Buttons, or it's a different Lou Bedford.

About a year after this post, I received this email from a descendant of Lou's, his great grandson Kit.:
You are correct in that it is a different Lou Bedford. He was my great grandfather. My brother found this searching Google. He even looks like my dad and his father, who as a boy used to run around his grandpa Lou's place in the Hollywood hills (1930's). He would wear the masks on halloween and at other times, which Lou had made for the studios.

He also told us Lou came up to San Francisco to ask my dad, who was a teenager then (1940's), to do a sort of road show with him. My dad said it was kind of like a flea circus with little moving things. Thanks to you, I now see this was probably the exhibit he had in mind. He wanted my dad to be the barker, and I think it was to be in a big truck or something, however my grandfather forbade his son to do it.

There is also one of the Three Stooges movies, possibly one where there are ape suits or something, where they mention "Mr. Bedford" -probably a nod to him. He would have been born in the late 1800's as my grandfather was born around the turn of last century. Thanks again for posting this.

Thanks for writing in, Kit! I'd love to have seen this dream come true. A traveling prehistoric "flea circus." So cool. It's hard to think of a job for a teenager that would be more fun than a barker for a tiny motorized dinosaur show.


  1. Ah, how wonderful to have received Kit's email...

    I suppose it would be inevitable for me to be reminded of John Hammond in Jurassic Park speaking of a flea circus too.

  2. What a wonderful little story. I love the image of this elderly man playing with a herd of dimetrodons. (Which was one of my favorite dinosaurs as a kid even after I learned they weren't dinosaurs.) Thanks for sharing. And how lovely that a descendant was able to get in touch.


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