This Man Invented Cat Memes in 1906
Photographer Harry Whittier Frees (1879-1953) dressed up live cats, dogs, and piglets in tiny clothes and spent hours posing them for novelty postcards. He changed entertainment forever.
“A difficult subject”
Like the caption to this 1937 article in LIFE magazine suggests, Harry Whittier Frees lived for “difficult subjects.” Working only with live, humanely-treated animals, Frees earned a career in captioned pet photography nearly 100 years before the Internet. Gathered here are choice shots from his book The Little Folks of Animal Land (1915) and his other incredible collections.