Archives On The Air 100: Dinosaur Hunters Of The Wild West—William Harlow Reed Papers

Jan 25, 2019

William Harlow Reed worked for the Union Pacific Railroad in Wyoming in the late 1800s.

One day, he was working as a station foreman when he discovered fossilized dinosaur bones in the rocks of Como Bluff.

Reed had no technical training but was a voracious reader. His knowledge of the local geography made him a capable paleontologist.

Reed became head of University of Wyoming's paleontology department in the early 1900s. He also curated the paleontological museum. He also held positions at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh and the Peabody Museum at Yale University.

A Brontosaurus skeleton discovered by Reed was displayed at Yale for many years before being moved to University of Wyoming.

Photos of Reed's dig sites can be seen online through UW's American Heritage Center.