This is my 100th post as The Pet Historian! I’ve got lots of plans for future posts — next up is one on dog toys — and plenty of new objects and images to share. I’d love to hear from you about what you especially like and want to see more of.
Amateur photograph three children and the family dog, after 1900. Photographer unknown.
My goals in creating The Pet Historian were three-fold: 1) to share my still-growing collection relating to the history of keeping pets in the United States; 2) to use my posts to show how close study of these items can inform our understanding of the complexities — both past and present — associated with living with animals in and around our living spaces; and 3) to keep practicing my writing during a period in my professional life when finding long stretches of time has been a challenge. I’ve tried to share my own delight in the collection, and my sense of humor, in my posts, and I hope that you enjoy them. I don’t pretend to be a disinterested observer; my own daily experiences with animals underlie everything I write about.
Postcard for Sharkey’s Tropical Fish and Pet Supply Company, 1940s?
So what would YOU like to see more of? Has anything in particular pricked your curiosity? I am also thinking about putting together a self-published book on my collection. If I do, what would you especially like to see?
Bird cage with “japanned” stenciled base, maker unknown, United States. Wood, brass and plated tin.
P. S. And look for a redesigned site in the next couple of months, with new features.
Filed under animal humor, animal-human interaction, bird cages, cats, dogs, material culture, pet antiques, pet history, pet humor, pet photography, pet supplies and equipment, pets
“Snoozer,” carte de visite, E. T. Bowdle, photographer, Lima, Ohio, probably 1880s.
Meet Snoozer the pug puppy, who took a very appealing likeness at Elisha T. Bowdle’s photography studio, probably in the early 1880s. He is posed on what looks like a pedestal made of wood (a studio prop, I suppose), and his name seems to have been added to the negative prior to printing.
Reverse of Snoozer’s portrait.
Elisha T. Bowdle opened his photography studio in Lima, Ohio, in 1879. Here’s the notice that appeared in the Lima Times Democrat and one other local paper on 20 November 1879. Bowdle’s employees were called “operators,” and this photo was taken by one named C. J. Young, who I have not been able to trace. I am dating this photograph to the 1880s because the larger cabinet-sized cards seem to have been more popular by the 1890s.
E. T. Bowdle grew rather prosperous by the 1880s. He probably owned the building, “Bowdle’s Block,” advertised on the back of the photograph, and the Lima newspapers reported periodically on his businesses and his involvement founding the Good Templar Lodge in 1888. He also helped to found the Lima Y.M.C.A. that same year.
This is the only trace remaining of Snoozer, who was clearly prized by his owner or owners. The 1880s were the first years of a craze for pugs that was several decades long. Pugs show up all over the country, which is quite extraordinary when you think that they were really introduced to the entire country at the Centennial Exposition dog show in 1876. I hope he lived a long and happy life!