SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hang On There: 1914

Hang On There: 1914

1914. "Cats in coveralls on chin-up bar." Photo by Harry Whittier Frees, patient poser of anthropomorphic puppies and kitschy kittens. View full size.

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Frees used live subjects

...and had to spoil many negatives, as they moved and played around. His costumes helped hold a kitty or puppy to a pose, but were not confining to young, squirmy pets. Frees only photographed about 3 months a year because the work was so "nerve-racking."
See this.

Patiently posed

An article in Life Magazine from 1937 describes how the animals are patiently posed, and often distracted to get the right reaction. Many shots are spoiled and he uses a fast shutter speed.

There are other books written by and about the photographer where his method is described.

Stuffed Animals

"Harry Whittier Frees (1879–1953) was an American photographer who created novelty postcards and children's books based on his photographs of taxidermied animals." -from Wikipedia.

[Wikipedia's "support" for that assertion is merely another unsupported assertion. -tterrace]


Does anyone know if these animals are alive or stuffed? Thanks.

[One hundred years later, they're neither. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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