New York’s first dinosaur museum was trashed before it even opened. The culprit is not who we thought.

Vandals armed with sledgehammers destroyed everything they could find in Hawkins’ studio. (Image credit: Published in The 12th Annual Report of the Board of Commissioners of the Central Park for the Year Ending December 31, 1868)

In 1871, vandals with sledgehammers destroyed skeletons and models intended for display in New York’s first dinosaur museum before the building was even completed. 

Contemporary news reports blamed the corrupt politician William “Boss” Tweed, but researchers have now revealed that the true culprit was likely Henry Hilton, who was seemingly obsessed with white paint and had “a remarkable ability to destroy everything he touched,” according to researchers who have revisited the events.

2023-05-18 16:53:14