Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lolcats of the Past

Pennsylvania native Harry Whittier Frees (1879-1953) specialized in lolcats (and lolpuppies, even lolchickens and lolbunnies). He turned his turn of the century photos into kids' books, postcards, and magazine articles, and his work also appeared on calendars.

Of his work, Frees once said, "Rabbits are the easiest to photograph in costume, but incapable of taking many "human" parts. Puppies are tractable when rightly understood, but the kitten is the most versatile animal actor, and possesses the greatest variety of appeal. The pig is the most difficult to deal with, but effective on occasion. The best period of young animal models is a short one, being when they are from six to ten weeks of age. An interesting fact is that a kitten's attention is best held through the sense of sight, while that of a puppy is most influenced by sound, and equally readily distracted by it. The native reasoning powers of young animals are, moreover, quite as pronounced as those of the human species, and relatively far surer." Link to more links to more photos.

However, Frees was far from the first lolcatter. A generation prior to Frees' work, English photographer Harry Pointer was doing the same.

Pointer turned his 1870s cartes-de-visites (small photographs) into little greeting cards by adding captions. His over 200 images are collectively known as the "Brighton Cats."

Mini bio and lots more charming images (scroll down) here.


TeacherPatti said...

Too bad he didn't take pictures of a giant walrus looking for his bukkit.... :)

Dusty D said...

Ah, but that's a sad and tragic tale...poor lolrus!