Tagged: photography

Vintage Cuteness by Harry Whittier Frees!

Harry_Whittier_Frees1Back in the day, when cat’s still knew how to spell, American photographer Harry Whittier Frees (1879–1953) dressed them up in silly costumes and made them pose as humans. Similar to the Brighton cats, the result was a vintage version of the LOLCat phenomenon. His mother assisted him in designing and sewing special outfits for the cats to hold them in position while he would patiently wait for the shot he had in mind.

These unusual photographs of real animals were made possible only by patient, unfailing kindness on the part of the photographer at all times.

Speed is essential in securing these pictures, but very often it is impossible to be quick enough. Young animals cannot hold a pose any better than human babies, and the situation is complicated when they are called on to be precocious in situations naturally foreign to them.

Frees’s career as a photographer of  cats and other animals in fancy dress began in 1906, when a  party hat was passed around the  table accidentally landed on a cat’s head. He took a photo and a career was born. He sold some of his early shots to a postcard printer, who turned out to be keen on  more. With time and practice, his sets became more elaborate and most often included various props. His photos were continued to be featured on postcards and also appeared in calendars, books, advertisments, and magazines.

Check out our selection here:

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Cats hanging out in bunches!


\noun \ˈklau̇də(r)\

Clowder of cats in snowy forest
CC flickr user Tidewater Muse

Definition: a group or a cluster of cats. Origin: 1795–1805; variant of dialect clodder clotted mass, noun use of clodder to clot, coagulate, Middle English clothered, clothred (past participle), variant of clotered; compare obsolete clotter to huddle together (source).



Cat House
CC flickr user dok1


Isn’t there something intriguing about a clowder of cats?

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Cat beard – human hat?

Every now and then, this happens!

Remember that optical illusion where you stare at a picture of a young/old woman to finally see the second one? Well this is much easier on the eye, and at the same time much more psychologically revealing. Do you see a cat beard? Then you’re clearly a cat-person. Or do you first and foremost see a human hat? That would make you a people-cat… well a cat most definitely.

cat beard.


and there is more!

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LOLCat teh Exhibishun!!! Not to be missed…

Not to be missed under any circumstances:  LOLCAT TEH EXHIBISHUN!

Head over to the Framers Gallery in London for a unique and creative take on the LOLCat phenomenon by a variety of graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, animators and writers (find out more about the artists).

Here’s a (not entirely serious) news item on the show:

but rest assured, the exhibition is seriously taking place now!

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The Brighton Cats!

Harry Pointer with his cats

In the 1870s, British photographer Harry Pointer came to fame for a series of postcard photographs featuring his pet cats. Initially, he photographed cats sleeping or resting in unusual places, but he soon began experimenting with deliberately placing cats in humorous poses to create more appealing pictures, for example in a mixing bowl or on an old boot. Pointer’s next step was to arrange his cats in unusual poses that mimicked human activities – roller-skating cats or a cat taking a picture with a camera. Pointer realised that adding written captions to his cat photographs would make for amusing situational postcards for all sorts of occasions (in the 1870ies postcards were very popular to send quick notes and greetings to family and friends). The series “The Brighton Cats”, named after the home of Harry Pointer’s photo studio, held around two hundered such captioned cat pictures. The tradition he started on postcards has survived the digital revolution in form of LOLCats. No doubt the language and what sort of content we find amusing have changed over the centuries, but the basic principle of adding words to cat images to create a funnier whole has remained the same! Continue reading for a selection of the Brighton Cats (aka vintage LOLCats)!

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Back to the Roots!


Flotsam and Catsam is rather fond of all things vintage and cat related historical tidbits. Let’s take a step back in time and honour the man and the machine that brought us the very first cat video ever! Continue reading to find out more about Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope and, of course, to view the first cat video produced for it!

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