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Dog Cakes: 1910

Dog Cakes: 1910

Utica, New York, circa 1910. "United Commercial Travelers of America building." On a block offering a cornucopia of goods and services: Dog Cakes (not to be confused with Twentieth Century Lunch three doors down), dog collars, bananas, cigars, an amusement arcade (the Shooting Gallery), coal, shoes, trunks and, finally, crockery and glassware. 8x10 inch glass negative View full size.


"Dog Cakes" - No dogs added

Spratts "Dog Cakes" was the first mass-produced dog food. James Spratt came up with "Patented Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes" after seeing dogs eating hardtack biscuits. The biscuits were initially marketed to country gentlemen in England for their hunting dogs.

Production was relatively limited until after James Spratt's death. However, in the 1880s, the company went public and became one of North America's marketed company in the 20th Century. They were eventually bought out by Purina.

Charles Crufts, who founded the Cruft's Dog Show began as a clerk for Spratt's.

Spratt was secretive about the actual meaty ingredient in his "cakes" and early ads in England intimated it was buffalo.

Penny Arcade

That's a great view of an old penny arcade, taken at a time when many of the attractions actually did cost only one cent. At the doorway is what appears to be a 44-note piano. These were usually set up to play a tune for a nickel, although the operator could have set it to play continuously as a means to entice passersby to enter. Along the right wall can be seen a row of Mutoscopes similar to the ones in the photo below. These played a moving picture supplied by individual frames printed on cards and formed into a reel. Each real contained one short movie, and since each Mutoscope held only one reel, the arcade would have many Mutoscopes in order to offer a variety of movies.

Kid-Free Eatery

"20th Century Lunch -- For Ladies and Gentlemen"

The lunch is up to date

I'm reassured. If they advertised a 19th Century lunch, it would be ten years past its expiration date. Which is only four years past the Pure Food and Drug Act.

70 Genesee Street

In 1905, the company needed more office space and moved to this building, at 70 Genesee Street in downtown Utica, within sight of the Erie Canal.

In 1937, the building was tripled in size to accommodate the needs of more than 200,000 policyholders.

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What better to eat with Dog Cakes but

Dog Milk!

I took this photo of a can of Dog Milk that I saw in a Restaurant where I was dining in Japan a few years ago.

I asked the waitress how many dogs had to be milked to get a whole can of Dog Milk, but she didn't seem to understand.

OK I'll Bite

What's a dog cake?

Close to home

This building is now an apartment complex, but most of the buildings to the right are gone, lost in a massive fire in 1948. Among them was my father-in-law's store, just out of the picture. If you could pan to the right, I'd appreciate it!

[Done. - Dave]

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