1999: Hip dinosaur Dippy
The Oakland statue of Dippy, the most famous dinosaur of Pittsburgh, seems to have been standing outside the Carnegie Museum of Natural History on Forbes Avenue forever. He is old, right? It only makes sense: Dippy is a dino.
The looks and names can be deceiving though. Dippy’s fiberglass statue is only 15 years old. One of the most recognizable symbols of Pittsburgh was erected in 1999 to celebrate the centennial of discovering the bare bones of the real Dippy, Andrew Carnegie’s obsession — that treasure still stands indoors in the museum’s Dinosaur Hall.
The indoors Dippy, whose real name is Diplodocus carnegii (in honor of… well, you know who), first appeared before Pittsburgh’s public in 1907. At that time, the 84-feet-long Diplodocus was a creature of superlatives: the tallest dinosaur ever found, the best preserved, the most desired by various collectors, the first dinosaur to ever be housed in the museum and many other THEs. Even the tale of finding Dippy and bringing the bones to Pittsburgh was hailed "a soap opera about bones."
But enough drama about the Dippy who lives indoors. Tough life. Dippy who stands outside must be thinking his indoors counterpart has it easy. Snow, sleet, rain, thunder, bone-chilling cold and even the vandals — Dippy has seen it all in an unpredictable world of Pittsburgh’s outdoors, and for that perseverance he earned the city’s respect and recognition.
Dippy, for sure, is a representative of Pittsburgh’s pop culture. He even made it to Yinztagram, a Pittsburgh photo app, as an integral feature of the Steel City along with Primanti Bros. sandwich, Rick Sebak and a construction detour sign.
The fiberglass Dippy is hip, too. During his short life he has sported more scarves and hats than an average Pittsburgher. Obviously, he does not choose his sports loyalties. Dippy’s passions have Pittsburgh ties. He was spotted wearing the Steelers Terrible Towel, the Panthers’ scarf, the green-and-white scarf with shamrock on it before St. Patrick’s Day and even a bicycle helmet (maybe as a precursor to the advent of the cycling culture in the Steel City?).
— Mila Sanina