Watch the Dinosaur Shrink!

in The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780226074726
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226074733 | DOI:
Watch the Dinosaur Shrink!

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In mid-June 1901, while Elmer Riggs was away in Colorado collecting his dinosaur, officers at the University of Chicago were celebrating their tenth convocation with great fanfare, an occasion that sparked much talk and excitement about the rapid growth and future expansion of the university. William Rainey Harper, the university's president, envisioned an immense endowment and had ambitions to build the largest and finest institution of higher learning in the country. The Field Columbian Museum, which was then located in the old Fine Arts Palace in Jackson Park, had always had a loose affiliation with the university, only a few blocks away. For the sake of greater scientific effectiveness, increased economy, and lesser duplication of effort and material, Harper harbored plans for a closer, more formal association with the museum. Rumors of his expansionist policies and word of Riggs's new dinosaur reached the Chicago Daily News at roughly the same time. On June 21, 1901, both were lampooned in a front-page editorial cartoon drawn by Luther Daniels Bradley entitled: “Watch the Dinosaur Shrink!” In it, Harper reacts to Riggs's discovery, saying: “Very neat Riggs, very neat! I may let your little place run as a side show to mine”.

Keywords: University of Chicago; Field Columbian Museum; Elmer Riggs; William Rainey Harper

Chapter.  8100 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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