Yep, that’s the New Jersey I know

Little known fact: in 1877, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins was actually trying to paint the people from New York and Philadelphia visiting the Jersey Shore. This was before the American diet made people less sinuous and lithe.

I’m guessing the skinny long-legged boys are Iguanadons lining up to swim across Arthur Kill to Tottenham, while mosasaurs watch from the Raritan River and snakey plesiosaurs and a distinctly gargoyle-like pterosaur gawks at the vicious gang fight from the safety of South Amboy, as the the crook-necked clingy boys from Keasbey tear into the line? It’s interesting how old reconstructions seem to have just scaled up slender lizards to make dinosaurs.


  1. gregsneakel says

    Dear Cranky Liberal Professor.
    It is Tottenville, Staten Island, not Tottenham. That one over in England.

  2. gregsneakel says

    The long swim got longer. Keasbey doesnt border the Arthur Kill. Across the Outer Bridge is Perth Amboy.
    Tottenville resident and PS-1 Graduate.

  3. springa73 says

    Yeah, I think efforts to visualize dinosaurs were skewed for about a century by a tendency to think of them as enormous lizards, when enormous birds would have been a better choice.

  4. wzrd1 says

    The third in line was my high school physics teacher. However did he manage to find his image?!
    Well, in the morning, I do feel that old…

    Still, I clearly remember down covering said treasured teacher at that time, he went a bit bald later in life.

  5. lucifersbike says

    Admirers of Mr Waterhouse Hawkins’ pioneering efforts to depict dinosaurs in their natural habitat might wish to visit the life- size statues at the Crystal Palace Park in London. The Iguanadon is especially and completely unlike the original creature. More info and some splendid pictures at the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs website cp.dinosaurs[dot]org.