The first real dinosaur fossils I acquired are these three fragmentary specimens. The one at left is the very first, given to me as a Christmas gift around 1954. It was the best present I got that Christmas!
The first time I remember encountering a fossil was when I received, as a gift, this little “rock collection” (below) — which included a specimen of petrified wood. When I asked my Mom what that was, she told me it was a piece of wood “so old it had turned to stone.” That intrigued me tremendously! And it was the first actual fossil I ever owned.
These fossil plants (below, left) were among the earliest real fossils in my, er, budding prehistoric collection. I bought them around 1956 at The Field Museum (then called the Chicago Natural History Museum) gift shop.