In 1868, Edward Draker Cope received a shipment of bones from Kansas that looked promising. It was probably something yet unidentified in America, and he wanted to be the first to publish it. Rushing to beat his rivals to the punch, Cope published this restoration of the elasmosaurus platyurus in the American Philosophical Society journal.
In this original restoration, Cope put the animal's skull on the right, giving it a short neck and a long tail.
Shortly after the reconstruction was published, Cope's rival, O.C. Marsh noticed that the skull had likely been placed on the wrong end of the skeleton. He contacted fellow paleontologist Joseph Leidy who confirmed the mistake.
Cope quickly published a corrected version of the drawing with the skull on the left, giving the creature a longer neck and shorter tail.
Cope tried to purchase all copies of American Philosophical Society that contained the incorrect version, but the damage to his reputation was done. And his rivalry with Marsh would only intensify.
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's legendary exploits helped create the myth of the American West that still endures today.
It was the largest fire in American history: by the time it was all over, more than three million acres had burned and at least 78 firefighters were dead.
Native Alaskans, oil company representatives, environmentalists, politicians, and others tell the story of the 800-mile pipeline.
The worldwide migration by eager gold-seekers turned California into a land of opportunity and fierce competition.
The journey of Prince Maximilian, German naturalist, and artist Karl Bodmer, who explored the Mississippi River area from 1832-1834.
John Wesley Powell's epic journey into the unknown Grand Canyon was filled with adventure as his team mapped the Colorado River for the first time.
The boy behind the myth, who in just a few short years transformed himself from a skinny orphan to the most feared man in the West and an enduring icon. Part of The Wild West collection.
The Chiricahua Apache medicine man and warrior who refused to accept white man's 'civilization.' Part of The Wild West collection.