This Week in Pittsburgh History: Dippy the Dinosaur Is Unveiled

Also, Mister Rogers is honored at the White House.
Dippy the Dinosaur

PHOTO BY TOM DAVIDSON

Twenty-two years ago this week, Dippy, the 3,000-pound, 22-foot-tall, 84-foot-long dinosaur sculpture that stands adjacent to the entrances of the Carnegie Music Hall and Carnegie Museum of Natural History, was unveiled. Former Pittsburgh Magazine writer Margaret J. Krauss dug up these interesting facts about Dippy in 2015.

Timeline

  • 1898 Andrew Carnegie reads that “the most colossal animal ever on Earth” has been discovered in Wyoming. He decides to acquire it.
  • 1899 It turns out that the find was a bit oversold: William Reed, the discoverer, had found one bone. The team continues to dig, expanding its coverage area.
  • 1905 At the request of King Edward VII, Carnegie makes a gift of a replica of Dippy to the British Museum of Natural History in London.
  • 1907 To make room for the original Dippy’s debut, the Carnegie Institute is expanded.
  • 1910 Carnegie defends how Dippy’s skeleton is presented, with legs behind, as opposed to off to the side (like a horse instead of a lizard). He was correct.
  • 1999 The statue of Dippy is unveiled outside the Carnegie Museums complex.
  • 2015 Dippy gets a new coat of paint. He’s never been vandalized.

Did you know?

  • The Dippy statue standing guard in front of the Carnegie Museums complex depicts Diplodocus carnegii — a species whose discovery was funded by Andrew Carnegie himself.
  • The original Dippy skeleton is on display inside the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
  • More than a dozen replicas of Dippy exist worldwide.
  • It took 130 crates to ship Dippy east to Pittsburgh.

Also this week, Mister Rogers was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House. Take a look⇓


Learn more about the city’s past at The Odd, Mysterious & Fascinating History of Pittsburgh Facebook page.

Categories: This Week in Pgh History