Sit Up!

Charley and Curley, cyanotype, ca. 1900-1910.

Charley and Curley, cyanotype, ca. 1900-1910. Photographer unknown.

Looking through my collection of early photographs of dogs, it’s clear that lots of family pets were taught at least one trick — “sit up” or “beg.”  I’ll be adding more photos to this album as I have time to scan them, and I’ll share advice on teaching dogs tricks from old books and pamphlets on dog training.

“Charley and Curley 1900” is a cyannotype (a fancy name for a blueprint).  A simple form of photographic printing, amateur photographers experimented with it for a couple of decades.  This cyannotype isn’t even square, and it has an edge that suggests that the image was torn from a larger piece of sensitized paper.  It’s glued to a piece of heavier paper.  But don’t you love this picture of two dapper fellows.  I’m assuming “Curley” is the dog.  He’s wearing a straw boater, a popular summer hat for both men and women.

 

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Unidentified dogs and boy, Little Rock, AK, ca. 1910. Photographer unknown.

This real photo postcard  shows a very little boy dressed in Sunday best short pants, white hose and patent leather “mary janes.”  He’s been posed outdoors, against what looks like the side of a barn or shed, and a dining room chair has been brought outside to create the pose with the two dogs.  The dog sitting up on the chair has a very appealing expression.  She has had puppies, probably repeatedly, since spaying wasn’t available widely until the 1930s.

 

 

While Tip McGinley sits up, Pilot Nixon looks wise with a pair of spectacles on his nose.  This is a studio photograph, unlike the previous two.  What I like about the caption is that the dog friends are identified by both first and last names.

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“Tip McGinley and Pilot Nixon,” real photo postcard, photographer unknown, ca. 1920.

Portrait of a male dog sitting up. CDV, 1870s. Johnson, Photographer, Ashland, Ohio.

Portrait of a male dog sitting up. CDV, 1870s. Johnson, Photographer, Ashland, Ohio. This dog is leaning against the back of what was called a “posing chair.”

 

 

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