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Washington Rabbit: 1911

Washington Rabbit: 1911

Washington, D.C., 1911. "Mrs. J.R. Band with pet rabbit." Happy Easter from Shorpy! Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Bunny in Thomas Square

For those (such as me) whose browsers have difficulty with the previous NPR link, here is the direct link to the fantastic now/then embedded photo of Mrs. Band and Bunny in Thomas Circle. Kudos to Jason E. Powell for inspired creativity, excellent technique and attention to detail.

Thomas Circle

This photo was featured in an article titled "Time Travel on the Cheap" and you can see Thomas Circle then & now. Check it out!

Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes

I believe that is their spire in the background, completed 1875.

View Larger Map

OK, see that photographer...


Sagacious Bunny

Washington Post, Oct 31, 1911

Has the Newest Fad in Pets

Mrs. J.E. Band Adopts Dainty White Angora Rabbit,
Adorned With Pink Collar.

"Oh, look mommer; look! Isn't it just too perfectly seweet?" Mother and small daughter were passing Thomas circle. "Mommer" looked at a bunch of fluffy white wool decked out with pink ribbons which was disporting itself on the grass.

The bunch of "fluff" is the latest fad in the pet line, and its owner, Mrs. J.E. Band, calls it "Bunny." But it's not a common rabbit; it's an angora, with the most attractive long white hair imaginable. Mrs. Band lives at the Iroquois apartment house, and is often seen giving "Bunny" an airing in the circle. And a most picturesque pair they are -- she in her trim walking suit and big white felt hat and "Bunny," as white as snow, with a shirred pink ribbon collar, embellished with bunchy rosettes of pink baby ribbon under each ear, and attached to his mistress by a long pink ribbon "lead."

Mrs. Band is very proud of her pet. She has had "Bunny" since it was 3 weeks old. She says "Bunny" is very sagacious. She certainly is as full of little tricks as a dog can be. She protests with funny little grunts -- the only sound she is able to make -- if she finds that her mistress is going out without her. She wakes people up in the morning when she thinks they have slept long enough of or is tired of her own society. She stands on her hind legs and begs when her mistress or Mr. Band has anything that she wants. As for Mr. Band, he is a busy man, but does not dare come home in the evening without something in his pocket for "Bunny." She expects it, and goes through his pockets looking for it, and he says he can't stand the reproach in her ruby eyes if he has in the press of business forgotten her. He simply has to go out and get something for her ladyship.

Mrs. Band, who is well known locally as an equestrienne and lover of fine horses, finds "Bunny" a much more practical pet then either a dog or cat. Landlords don't object, because "Bunny" makes no noise and never loiters around the halls. Everybody in the big apartment building is interested in the unusual pet and nobody is afraid of it. There is no license to be paid on it.

On the whole, in these days when the authorities are making life a burden to dog owners, the new fad has obvious advantages.

Compact purse

She had less to carry. It would take too much space to list what ladies carry today compared to then so I list what I believe they did carry. To wit: Powder compact with mirror, a handkerchief, a coin purse, her house key and perhaps a comb.

Fashionable purse

I'm impressed by Mrs. Band's purse. It looks quite modern! I had no idea they used such small purses back in the day.


You have to start with a harness when they're young, and be willing to follow where they hop - they will never learn to walk like a dog. The bun I got as a baby liked it well enough; the one I adopted as an adult freaked out and was like watching a wild piece of ever-popping, furious and furry popcorn on the end of the string. I was covered in angry red scratches by the time I could hold him still long enough to get the bunny harness off and pack it away forever! :)

The key to bunnies making good pets is they have to be housepets and have interaction with you every day.


Was this taken at Thomas Circle? That looks like the base of the Thomas statue in the background. The church steeple in the distance also looks familiar.

Some rabbits allow it...

Not mine, however. I've got two, and they'd both go for my throat if I so much as waved a harness and leash near them...they like being petted, but try to pick them up and all bets are off.

But I have seen rabbits happy to be on a harness and hopping about, though they usually go around the neck and chest to avoid that choking risk.

On a leash?

I've had pet rabbits growing up, and this rabbit is completely trusting enough to slip a leash over its head, or it was put on while it was drugged. I can also see it trying to hop off after seeing a dog go after it and choking itself.

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