April 2nd

1896 – Barnum Brown hired as field assistant

On this day in dinosaurs, a young Barnum Brown left Lawrence, Kansas to rendezvous with the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Vertebrate Paleontology crew in southern Colorado.

Young Barnum Brown / Wikimedia Commons

Samuel Wendell Williston, one of Brown’s mentors, had recommended him for the position, writing:

Brown has been with me on two expeditions, and is the best man in the field that I ever had. He is very energetic, has great powers of endurance, walking thirty miles a day without fatigue, is very methodical in all his habits, and thoroughly honest. He has good ability as a student and also has been a student with me in anatomy, geology, and paleontology. He practically relieved me of all care in my last expedition, looking after team, provisions, outfit, etc. I can not say enough in his praise.

With this emphatic endorsement, Brown landed his spot with the DVP and would go on to become the great dinosaur hunter of them all.

Share your favorite stories about ‘Mr. Bones’ and your photos with his beloved fossil skeletons with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TDIDinos.

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