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Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
#671971 Wed Nov 16 2016 05:46 AM
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To elaborate on my "new members" post, I enjoy researching older Sinclair dinosaur items. The early, realistic fiberglass Sinclair dinosaur statue has me stumped though, as to its age and manufacturer.

When did Sinclair make (or more likely have made for them) the very first generation of fiberglass dinosaurs that they displayed at service stations in the early 1960s and perhaps earlier?

These are few and far between. I have one, and have talked to the present owners of several others. Like me, they've found no makers marks and the original owners are unknown, dead or have memory issues. All they have in common is that they are known to have come from Sinclair originally.

The earliest photograph of one with a confirmed time frame is from the grand opening of a Wilmington, IL, station in 1963. I have a picture of one in a Chicago parade dated 1964 and Wes Maxwell has posted photos of one from 1966. Sinclair seems to have phased them out in favor of a more friendly looking design starting in 1964.

Does anyone remember seeing one of these before 1963?

As to manufacturers, I can tell you who didn't make them:

Jonas Studios - they made the 1964-65 World's Fair Dinoland life-size dinosaurs, but a member of the family confirms Jonas didn't make this earlier one.

International Fiberglass - They made the common, friendlier, more cartoonish 12' and 8' fiberglass dinosaurs we still see here and there from about 1963 until they went out of business in the mid 1970s. They also made these for customers other than Sinclair. I interviewed their former owner in the early 1990s and he said he didn't know who made the earlier Sinclair dinosaur. (Sinclair made molds off an International Fiberglass dinosaur and began reproducing them in in the late 1980s; they recently introduced a modified design with the head facing the other way.)

FAST - Fiberglass Animals Symbols and Trademarks of Sparta, WI. They and their corporate predecessors made fiberglass animals for decades, but a long-time manager says they didn't make the early Sinclair model.

So, none of the above three prominent makers of fiberglass animals in the 1960s made this Sinclair Brontosaurus. Would anyone know who did, and when?

(A previous owner of the one I have painted black lines just behind its head; I've painted those out already.)

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Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
AceJackalope #672043 Wed Nov 16 2016 11:08 PM
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I have a few pieces of literature on the introduction of the dino, but I don't know which of the 41 file drawers it is in. Will look for it when I get time.

Jack Sim


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Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
AceJackalope #672058 Thu Nov 17 2016 08:55 AM
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Here is a picture of the one that my dad had in a local parade in 1966

PICT1002.JPG

US Air Force Retired, 1981-2007
Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
AceJackalope #672059 Thu Nov 17 2016 08:58 AM
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And of course, a picture of the smaller 8 foot one. (It looks much more friendly)
I do not know who made these.

small1_.jpg

US Air Force Retired, 1981-2007
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Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
AceJackalope #672135 Fri Nov 18 2016 01:49 AM
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Wes, your 8' dinosaur was made by International Fiberglass, which was marketing them in a 1964 brochure as "Baby Dinosaur" alongside the more familiar 12' "King Dinosaur" which Sinclair bought so many of. Both models were sold to many clients though Sinclair was the biggest customer for the large one.

International Fiberglass made both models in any color a customer wanted and in a couple finishes; Sinclair seems to have been fond of green in the "FiberGLO" finish which looked like it metal fleck or glitter in it. International Fiberglass may have produced slight variations in order to accommodate a customer's local sign ordnances where height was concerned as I've seen both the 8' and 12' versions with slightly shorter legs that appear to have been molded that way.

I've seen the 8' Baby Dinosaur in multiple colors. I have one in glossy white and Jackie Knott told me one he used to have was originally pink. I've seen a picture of a glittery gold-colored one. The only 8' model I ever saw at a Sinclair station was green.

International Fiberglass went out of business in the mid-1970s but several companies have made versions based on the 8' and 12' dinosaurs introduced by the company.

Last edited by AceJackalope; Fri Nov 18 2016 01:51 AM. Reason: brevity
Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
AceJackalope #672143 Fri Nov 18 2016 05:29 AM
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How cool is that! Thanks for all the info. I wonder why they would have made the baby ones a color other than the signature green?

I was always excited to see them as a kid when we traveled out of state. It was one of the car games we played to see which of us kids saw the dino first.

Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
AceJackalope #672168 Fri Nov 18 2016 10:46 AM
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Nicole, they made them in colors other than green because Sinclair was only one of many customers, albeit eventually the largest, at least for the 12' ones. I'm not sure that Sinclair as a corporation bought any of the 8' model, though at least one of the dealers eventually had one.

Your question brings an interesting realization. Before the dominance of the Sinclair Dino, I don't think green was the default color for a dinosaur. The Charles Knight and Rudolph Zallinger murals, which served as templates for most toys and book illustrations of the 50s and 60s, portrayed dinosaurs in variations of grayish blue and dull reddish brown much more than green.

So, Sinclair may have cemented green dinosaurs into the public consciousness just as Coca-Cola cemented red for Santa.

I'd be curious to know from long-time Sinclair collectors: when did the company first use green for a dinosaur? In the 1959 standardization of logos and fonts, green was the color of Dino, but was it so before that?

Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
AceJackalope #672180 Fri Nov 18 2016 12:44 PM
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Sinclair used a black dinosaur before the green,
On cans atleast........ I don't know the year they started but it was early.

Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
AceJackalope #753449 Tue Aug 18 2020 06:04 PM
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I actually own Jackie Knott's old Sinclair Dino and it sits on top my my Historic Sinclair Service Station located in Fort Worth, Texas. All pics are on my Facebook page or Google Historic Sinclair Service Station Fort Worth, Texas
here is the Link... https://www.facebook.com/HistoricSinclairServiceStation
Copy and paste... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.364483049201&type=3
https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10152491177709202&set=a.364483049201

Paul Lemon (on Facebook )
817-999-1260 cell

Last edited by Petro Paul; Tue Aug 18 2020 06:26 PM. Reason: added content
Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
AceJackalope #753456 Tue Aug 18 2020 08:11 PM
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This is great Paul, you're station is on my way to and from Pate! I'm in the market for the smaller aluminum dino for my backyard.

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Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
AceJackalope #753553 Fri Aug 21 2020 09:03 AM
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Call me the next time you are close & I will show you the Sinclair Station.

Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
Wes Maxwell #755170 Sat Sep 26 2020 11:25 AM
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Wes I have a very similar Dino to yours other than mine looks the other direction and his tail is separate, story I got was he was shipped to a station up in Michigan and arrived with a damaged leg so they put it upstairs and ordered another one from Sinclair. I've never seen another with the tail being "bolt on" , I'm curious if maybe he just wasn't finished. His tail section and Body are both marked # 7

IMG_20200926_122001139.jpgIMG_20200926_122007260.jpgIMG_20200926_122015554.jpg
Re: Age & maker of early Sinclair fiberglass dinosaur?
Shortridge Custom #762223 Fri Mar 26 2021 09:48 PM
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Shortridge Custom, that's not a Sinclair dinosaur. I have one too, as I collect all sorts of dinosaur statues which we use in various parades. This model is distributed by All Classics Ltd. of Newark, Delaware. The two-piece construction is for shipping. I believe the number is simply to match up the body with the correct tail at the warehouse as the holes for the bolts seem to be drilled in slightly different places on each one. Mine has "13" on both body and tail.

That being said, it's a nice dinosaur. I bought a used one myself in December as it'll be very handy for use in parades when I don't want to risk a vintage piece like the one at the start of this thread. The two-piece construction lets us hide the thing in a pickup truck shell until we get where we're going. We also used it as holiday yard art this past winter.

Be aware that although those are advertised as fiberglass, they feel to me much more like resin though some fiberglass is visible inside. In other words, it could crack or chip more easily than traditional fiberglass.

2021-01-31-IMG-0676aInsta.jpg

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