Cute Dog Photos by Harry Whittier Frees

Famous photos of dogs (and cats) taken by photographer Harry Whittier Frees in the early 1900s.

"A Joy Ride" 1914

Harry Whittier Frees (1879-1953) was an early pioneer in American pet photography. His career began at a birthday party in 1906 when someone placed a birthday hat on the family cat. Frees took a picture of the cat and the image became an instant success.

Harry Whittier Frees

His subjects were mostly kittens and puppies. He used his own pets and borrowed or rented animals from neighbors and pet stores. Specially designed costumes were made by his mother or housekeeper to help hold the animals in an upright position.

"The Nurse" 1914

Reportedly, no photo trickery was used. "These unusual photographs of real animals were made possible only by patient, unfailing kindness on the part of the photographer at all times," Frees said.

"The Bath" 1914

According to an article in Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine, "The work was challenging, time-consuming and nerve-wracking. It caused Frees so much anxiety that he photographed his furry subjects for only three months a year. To make the situation even more difficult for Frees, only about 30 negatives out of every 100 could be used. Consequently, he needed the remainder of the year to recuperate from exhaustion and formulate new ideas."

"When Bedtime Comes" 1914