1855 Punch Dinosaurs Crystal Palace

1855 Punch Dinosaurs Crystal Palace

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 1855 Cartoon from Punch's Almanac of that year, ascribed to John Leech. "A visit to the antediluvian reptiles at Sydenham - master Tom strongly objects to having his mind improved". Clockwise from top; Iguanodon (with bird on its wrongly ascribed horn), Megalosaurus, Hylaeosaurus, prehistoric gharial (teleosaurus), ichthyosaur. The actual exhibits were designed to fit the victorian ideal of educating the masses. They were the work of artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (based on the research of Owen, Mantell, Buckland, Conybeare and others). The Crystal Palace Antediluvians were the first life-size reconstructions of dinosaurs, and this cartoon indicates that many saw them as nightmarish monsters of a former age. Children would love dinosaurs ever after.

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Keywords: 1855, artwork, buckland, caricature, cartoon, crystal palace, education, human, humour, hylaeosaurus, ichthyosaur, iguanodon, illustration, john leech, mantell, megalosaur, megalosaurus, owen, people, person, prehistoric, prehistoric reptiles, punch, restoration, sydenham, victorian, waterhouse hawkins

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