On this day in dinosaurs, men team up with the institutions that helped establish their legendary status among dinophiles.
1900 – Hatcher Joins the Carnegie Museum
John Bell Hatcher is sadly not a name that is widely revered by the general public, but in the late 19th century, Hatcher was regarded as the best field paleontologist among his peers. He began his fossil collecting endeavors under the legendary O. C. Marsh at Yale. After nine years with Marsh, Hatcher set out for Princeton University where he became Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology in 1893. His genius for collecting fossils made him a sought-after figure for museum directors who wanted the largest mounted specimens for their institution.
The most famous of these was Andrew Carnegie, and on this date in 1900, Hatcher left Princeton for Pittsburgh. Hatcher’s most famous contributions to the Carnegie Museum are his scientific description and supervision of the skeletal mount of Diplodocus carnegii–a dinosaur celebrated throughout the world–and his work on a titanic monograph about the ceratopsian dinosaurs which was completed by Richard Swann Lull after Hatcher’s death.
This date in dinosaur paleontology represents what in sporting terms would be considered Hatcher’s move to the one of the biggest scientific franchises–and like any true superstar, J. B. Hatcher delivered.
1942 – Rudy Zallinger Joins the Yale-Peabody Museum Staff
Also on this day in dinosaurs, Rudolph Zallinger began his five year mission to create the Age of Reptiles mural at the Yale-Peabody Museum.
His hiring marked the beginning of a partnership that would see Zallinger create murals for two of the museum’s main fossil galleries–entering him into the pantheon of great paleo-artists.