My Mother first took me to the Chicago Natural History Museum (now The Field Museum, see souvenir postcard, far left) when I was just in kindergarten — an experience, when I saw those giant ancient skeletons, that would have a profound impact upon my life (and career). These two photos show the old gallery of vertebrate fossils (Hall 38) as it looked when I first began to visit the museum. After a while (in my fifth and sixth grade) I make the trip on a weekly basis.
Above right is the mounted partial skeleton of an Apatosaurus collected in Colorado (photo courtesy The Field Museum, negative number CSGEO79523). Below. a stereograph (Keystone Junior Series, ca. 1930s) of the specimen (“reverse cross” your eyes to view it in three dimensions); also, a stereograph showing a pair of mounted ground sloth skeletons exhibited in Hall 38.
Below is a skeleton of Megatherium, a giant ground sloth from Argentina (photo courtesy The Field Museum, negative number CSGEO79527). (To see a skeletal cast of this huge mammal in 3D, CLICK HERE.
When I saw, on that first visit to the museum, this skeleton of the giant ground sloth Scelidotherium, I was fascinated by the way the bones were embedded in the rock matrix. I never forgot that image, which proved to be inspirational for me (photo courtesy The Field Museum, negative number CSGEO78072).
To see some collectibles from the museum, CLICK HERE.
Some young friends (below) waiting anxiously in the cold Chicago winter to go inside the warm museum; from left to right Yours Truly, Bert Ott, Len Keippel and big brother Ron (whose early artwork would someday grace my wall, and who would go on to create “The Great Dinosaur Hunt” board game).
A couple years later, inside the museum with friend Victor Fabian and a femur of Argyrosaurus, a sauropod dinosaur from Argentina.
In later years, long after moving to California, I’d become a volunteer at The Field Museum (now home to “SUE,” the famous Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton; see much more recent photo below), doing my work there whenever I returned on a visit to Chicago.