The story of Dippy the Dinosaur 

In 1898 Andrew Carnegie was reading a newspaper and came across an article about a paleontologist that had discovered the largest dinosaur skeletons of the time.  Carnegie had just built his Natural History Museum in Pittsburg and wanted the bones for his museum.

Carnegie then charged the Director of Museum Dr. Holland to hire Bill Reed (the fossil finder of the dinosaur) and began their trek in Wyoming for additional dinosaurs for the Pittsburg museum. Dr. Holland hired paleontologist named Dr. Jacob Wortman to lead the additional efforts.

The discovery of the fossils happened on July 4, 1899 in Wyoming. The discovery of the fossils was news worthy as it was nearly a complete fossil skeleton of Diplodocus.  It was also the longest dinosaur ever found. A team member Arthur Coggeshall joked that they should call it “Star-Spangled Dinosaur” since it was found on July 4th.  The skeleton was shipped to Carnegie museum in Pittsburg.

Andrew Carnegie’s friends, however, called it “Dippy” when it first debut to the public in 1907.  The name stuck ever since.

Carnegie had a sketch of Dippy hanging at his Skibo Castle in Scotland.  During a trip to the castle, King Edward VII saw the sketch and asked for a copy of the dinosaur to be created for the London Natural History Museum.

The plaster was created and shipped in 36 crates to London and was put on display at the London Natural History Museum in 1905.

In total there were 10 replicas created and gifted to various museums around the world, including National Science Museum in Madrid, Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt and Museum of Natural History Chicago.

This year after 112 years on display “Dippy” will be leaving the London Natural History museum and will go on a farewell tour around UK.  The replacement for Dippy will be a Blue Whale.

In 1999, a fiberglass version of Dippy was created and placed in front of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Additional Reading: 

Dippy’s Farewell tour:

Carnegie Museum of Natural History – Dippy’s Story:

Dippy the Star-Spangled Dinosaur:

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