When Dinosaurs Came To Memphis: The Sinclair Dinosaur Exhibit of the 1960s



photo by Wilson Weathers

In our March issue, I tell about the time mighty dinosaurs came to Memphis — in the form of lifesize fiberglass replicas of "thunder lizards" that were originally part of a terrific display created by the Sinclair Oil Company for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. Sinclair used a friendly green Brontosaurus named "Dino" for its mascot, some of you may remember.

A reader, Doug Weathers, sent me several nice color photos of the dinosaurs taken by either his father or mother, Wilson and Anne Weathers, when the creatures were exhibited in parking lot of the Southgate Shopping Center, though nobody seems to know the exact date this happened. (Let me know if you do.)

Anyway, I ran two of the pictures — converted from the original 35mm Kodachrome slides — in the March "Ask Vance" column (on newsstands now!), so go there to read the full story. I liked the photos (and dinosaurs) so much I thought I'd share a few others here. I have to admit the creatures are really well done. Don't you agree?

Look closely, by the way, and you can see the big sign for Southgate Shopping Center peeking out from behind the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which helped me confirm the location of the exhibit while it was in Memphis.

Special thanks to Doug Weathers for sharing the photos.

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Famed Memphis trivia expert Vance Lauderdale answers reader questions weekly here on his blog!

About This Blog

Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business. Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

You can find him from time to time in the pages of the Memphis Flyer and MBQ, on WKNO television, and on Facebook. When he is not exploring the highways and byways of Memphis, he spends his time sleeping, napping, and dozing.

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