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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