Look what we have here: Sinclair Oil ads from 1931 and 1932! These off-beat dinosaur illustrations ran in the Saturday Evening Post. You will see we included the ad copy, too, for completion. We confess that we don’t understand the pictures, really. Are they sculptures? Dioramas? Paintings? Pictures of sculptural dioramas developed and then painted over? If you have a clue, educate us with a comment, please!
Dig this. We scanned a little piece of history for you: pages from the 1934 Chicago Daily News issues celebrating their World’s Fair that year. Sinclair Oil had a major exhibit at the World’s Fair, and you will find many dinosaurs here. They include a dimetrodon, which is not actually a dinosaur but a therapsid or something. And, you find a triceratops mis-labeled as “Mr. Brontosaurus.”
Some odd cultural artifacts populate this paper. You will find an ad for southern cooking that we might consider racist these days, ads for show girl revues, a town full of midgets, and proof that people were once very afraid their refrigerators might be unsafe. All that and more await you in our gallery here, so delve in!
In the 1930s, dinosaurs became mascots for the most endearing
propaganda advertising campaigns of all time. All that mining and drilling turned up some cool dinosaur finds, and Sinclair put them to work as poster boys for the oil revolution. Sinclair Oil built a dinosaur-land for the World’s Fair, ran dinosaur-themed ads in popular magazines like the Saturday Evening Post, dreamed up some most excellent collector dino stamp books, and even used that gnarly petroleum to make plastic toys for kids. Even though Sinclair stopped handing out awesome free dinosaur toys in the late 1970s, you can still see a brontosaurus on their signs.
Feast your eyes on this cool dinosaur memorabilia from Sinclair. Then go picket their service stations until they start handing out free dinos again!
You might also like our scans of the complete promotional booklet, Sinclair and the Exciting World of Dinosaurs!
ankylosaurus, brontosaurus, corythosaurus, Dinoland, dinosaur, Matthew Kalmenoff, ornitholestes, Sinclair, Sinclair and the Exciting World of Dinosaurs, Sinclair Dinosaurs, Sinclair Oil, Smilodon, stegosaurus, struthiomimus, trachodon, Triceratops, tyrannosaurus
Today’s gallery showcases the complete 1967 booklet “Sinclair and the Exciting World of Dinosaurs.” Another one of Sinclair‘s famous free dinosaur promos, this one’s packed with great paintings on every page.
Since 1967, paleontology has updated our vision of these magnificent creatures. In 2005, for example, we found evidence of feathers on the tail of a tyrannosaur. William Stout included this incredible update in his tyrannosaur mural at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Now we conceive of their tails not dragging heavily on the ground, but in far more alert and active poses. Still, these 1960s paintings are a lot of fun.
Thank you to reader Edward Dietrich who, in 2017, told me of an earlier printing of this booklet dated 1964, released for the Sinclair Dinoland exhibit at the New York World’s Fair, 1964-1965. He sent the following three images, which are that edition’s cover and two additional pages illustrating the exhibit.
Have you seen my scans of photos from Sinclair at the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair?
Thank you to reader Mark Menendez who, in 2012, used the power of enlargement to find the artist’s signature in these images and identify him: Matthew Kalmenoff. The American Museum of Natural History says:
Matthew Kalmenoff (1905-1986)
“Kal,” as he was known to his fellow artists, was employed at the AMNH from the 1950s through the early 1970s. His work can be found in the Hall of North American Forests, the renovated Hall of North American Birds, and in the Small Mammal Corridor of the Hall of North American Mammals.
Reader Edward Dietrich adds that Kalmenoff also contributed color illustrations to a wonderful Golden Stamp Book book I loved when I was a kid: Animals of the Past. Thank you for reminding me off this forgotten treasure, and revealing its connection to the Sinclair booklet! Collectors and prehistoric animal enthusiasts can sometimes find this book on eBay and Amazon.
Kalmenoff’s paintings from this 1970s book, along with black and white line drawings by Robert Gartland, appear to be recycled from a 1950s edition called The Golden Play Book of Animals from the Past Stamps. You can find scans of many of that edition’s interior pages and stamps at the blog Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs.
Kalmenoff’s painted mosasaur stamp rocks my world. I want a wall-sized version. And how can you not love the Skull of Uinta Beast? It’s a doom metal album cover! This is a charming book even if it makes numerous outdated statements about dinosaur biology, such as depicting brontosaurs spending all their time in water. For a more current take on brontos, you’ll need Ted Rechlin’s awesome graphic novel, Jurassic.
And now, without further ado, please enjoy the complete 1967 edition of “Sinclair and the Exciting World of Dinosaurs!” Featuring brontosaurus, struthiomimus, trachodon, tyrannosaurus, triceratops, ankylosaurus, corythosaurus, ornitholestes, and stegosaurus.
WOW! If, after all that, you are dying to see more paleoart from Matthew Kalmenoff, you’ll dig his black-and-white drawings from the 1956 book, All About Strange Beasts from the Past (written by Roy Chapman Andrews). Yes, you can find it on Amazon. But for samples of the interior, visit DinosaurHome, where we got the following images. If you thought Kalmenoff’s “Skull of Uinta Beast” stamp was doom metal, then check these out!