Vintage Animal Photographer Harry Whittier Frees
Harry Whittier Frees (1879–1953) was an American photographer who created novelty postcards and children’s books based on his photographs of animals. He dressed the animals and posed them in human situations with props, often with captions. These were famously popular as postcards and posters at the turn of the century. The books and postcards are both highly collectible today.
These comical images are from his 1915 book, The Little Folks of Animal Land. He created images with animals, mostly kittens recreating everyday life scenarios. The images were titled:
- “Lily Bufkins Cuts a Wisdom Tooth”
- “Barker was Busy in the Kitchen”
- “Mrs. Bufkins Takes Barker’s Place”
- “Purra Plays a Joke on Prowler”
- “Mrs. Bufkins had a Busy Day”
- “Rosie was a patient model”
- “Prowler and Purra Try the Jam”
Unlike many of Frees contemporaries, he used live animals and not taxidermy. This allows guilt-free enjoyment of the pictures without the “yuck” factor of knowing that you are looking at something dead.