22 Photos That Pioneered Lolcats And Animal Memes A Century Ago
By All That's Interesting
Published June 26, 2016
Updated June 23, 2016
American photographer Harry Whittier Frees made a career out of perfectly crafted cute animal photography starting in 1906. Frees used his novelty photos for postcards, calendars, and children’s books.
Frees dressed the animals and posed them in human situations with props. He used his own cats as models as well as the pets of his friends and neighbors
“Rabbits are the easiest to photograph in costume, but incapable of taking many ‘human’ parts. Puppies are tractable when rightly understood, but the kitten is the most versatile animal actor, and possesses the greatest variety of appeal,” Frees said.
Take a look at Frees’ original cat memes — or lolcats — and plenty of other just plain adorable baby animals: