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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

I Could Use a Drink: 1914

I Could Use a Drink: 1914

1914. "Kitten in costume grasping pump handle, ready to fill water bucket carried by doll." Another of the vaguely spooky tableaux featuring posed dogs and cats that were a specialty of novelty photographer Harry W. Frees. View full size.

 

Weird and Wonderful.

What a wonderful combination of the creative and creepy.

Confused

I am a total animal lover and have had dogs and cats all my life. So why is it these photos creep everyone out - including me!!! I guess they just look so pathetic.

Going to need a helper

I've had cats my entire life. I can't imagine trying to get clothes on one without ending up in the emergency room with multiple lacerations.

Creepy

This guy probably would have gotten along very well with Tim Burton or The Quay Brothers.

Animals dressed like people

These Harry Frees photos are a little unnerving. I never did like "Four Little" books. I do have one packed away in my son's keepsakes.

From the looks of it-

I'd say the cat has been smoking catnip again.

He had a jillion of 'em

Much of Harry Frees's career was built around photos of these anthropomorphized baby animals. It's not at all hard to find reprint copies of his Four Little Kittens/Four Little Puppies/Four Little Bunnies books.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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