Dinosaurs are brilliant. When I was young collecting tea cards was pretty good too. These were illustrated cards that came in loose tea packets (tea bags weren’t proper, not in my house), for collection in albums. I had a good few albums, and the best one, the only one I still have, was all about dinosaurs.
I loved it then, for the tiny, detailed paintings and drawings.
I still love it now, for the mix of imagination, technical skill, and information, and the sheer effort that has been put into making something as trivial as a tea card album as good as it could possibly be.
The pictures were, and I still think are, wonderfully romantic, so full of colour and detail. And now I know those ‘palms’ are tree ferns – you can see they are. And those stubby bottle-brush plants are Equisetacea, plants that grew big as trees and helped form the coal beds.
Unfortunately a younger me couldn’t resist a little bit of science-fictional vandalism…
I expect a fair amount of this is information is out of date, and the dinosaur colours? These days we’re starting to get an idea. When I was young I was just amazed that they somehow knew.
Still, it’s great. And so are dinosaurs.