28. The Trachodon Mummy, 1917


Charles H. Sternberg and his sons--George F. and Charles M., and Levi-- comprised one of the most formidable dinosaur hunting teams that ever attacked the fossil fields of the American and Canadian West. In 1908, in Converse County, Wyoming, they unearthed one of the most renowned of dinosaur fossils, the Trachodon mummy. Dinosaur skin impressions had been found before, but this specimen had the skin almost completely preserved, along with portions of muscle, and nearly the entire skeleton. Sternberg sold the mummy to the American Museum of Natural History for a considerable sum, and it immediately went on display.

Henry Fairfield Osborn published an extensive article on the mummy in 1912 that contained photographs of the entire specimen as well as detailed enlargements of skin segments. However, for this exhibition, it seemed fitting to use Charles H. Sternberg's own book, published in 1917, which contains the same photograph, on a smaller scale, that Osborn had published earlier.

The photographer, Abram Anderson, does not seem to have received the attention of his colleague Charles Knight, but he was apparently much in demand as a visual recorder of dinosaurs; his three photographs of the first T. rex mount are also included in the exhibition (see item 34), as is his photograph of the second T. rex skull (see item 33b)


Sternberg, Charles H. Hunting Dinosaurs in the Bad Lands of the Red Deer River, Alberta, Canada. Lawrence, Kansas: Published by Charles H. Sternberg, 1917. This work was on display in the original exhibition as item 28.

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