Dinosaur cosplay in the 1930s was fantastic, creepy as hell

In 1938, Birmingham, England held a 5,000-performer pageant to celebrate the centennial of the city's designation as a municipal borough. But that milestone's barely germane to today's discussion.

No, what is noteworthy here is that Birmingham built three terrifying dinosaur costumes out of automobiles and chased one-hundred caveman around a field, which — to be perfectly honest — is how every anniversary should be commemorated, regardless of the occasion.

The pageant's theme was Birmingham's transition from prehistoric hellhole to modern industrial powerhouse. These wonderful dinosaurs (which straddled "semi-crappy" and "complete magnificence" with equal aplomb) were built for the prehistoric portion of the pageant. As Birmingham Archives and Heritage Blog elaborates:

Dinosaur cosplay in the 1930s was fantastic, creepy as hell

In the opening episode, three dinosaurs, hacked together from the chassis of small cars, ply wood and paint and powered by men hidden inside would maraud across the field chasing, and being chased by hundreds of fur clothed cavemen.

Here's footage of the three dinosaurs, Egbert, Ogbert, and the triceratops Little Sidney ("who could move his head independently and had his own baby's pacifier"). As for Egbert, he was positively massive and could belch fog. (Historical veracity was not at a premium here). Connecting Histories describes the construction process as follows:

Dinosaur cosplay in the 1930s was fantastic, creepy as hell

Egbert was described by the Pageant Master, Gwen Lally, as being sixty feet long, almost as tall as a church, with great motor lamps for eyes and the ability to waggle his head. He could also roar and emit yellow smoke from his nostrils. The Birmingham Mail revealed that the monster was made from 3,000 plywood strips, a ton of paint, 200 yards of canvas, motive power supplied by twelve men, and was mounted on a chassis incorporating the axles and wheels of a light car.

Dinosaur cosplay in the 1930s was fantastic, creepy as hell

And once the dinosaurs were done chasing their quarry, the audience delighted in a Druidic human sacrifice and a cart full of dead knights. Truly a blessed day.

Dinosaur cosplay in the 1930s was fantastic, creepy as hell

Quasi-Related and Demi-Salient

Don Glut's (semi-NSFW) Dinosaurs
The Cuban Jurassic Park
The Charles Darwin Mardi Gras parade of 1873

[Via The Iron Room and Connecting Histories]