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100-Year-Old Vintage Cat Memes

Believe it or not but it turns out the very first cat memes were created over 100 years ago, thanks to a photographer named Harry Whittier Frees. Harry Whittier Frees dressed up cats and posed them with props, just the way one would photograph a human. He basically did what people do today before it was cool. 

Frees was born in 1879, Reading, Pennsylvania. In an interview with LIFE magazine, it was told he took his first "lolcat" photo completely by accident! The year was 1906 when his family gathered for dinner and brought a paper hat. They passed around the hat from head to head until it was placed on the head of Frees' cat. At that moment he took a photo of a cat with a hat. The source mentions how admired the shot was so he began to take more photos of cats in outfits and props. 

These photographs were taken in the early 1900s with a camera speed of 1/5th a second. As as we all know, cats (especially kittens) move constantly. Especially when you're trying to take a picture of them! So you can imagine how difficult it must have been and reportedly, two-thirds of the negatives had to discarded due to their blurriness. 

Honestly, it just makes the following images that much more impressive! Feast your eyes on the world's earliest cat memes: 

vintage cat memes cute cats kittens meme history 1900 lolcats amazing interesting cool aww | black and white photograph of two farmer kittens holding a rake and a watering can
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Photos Show That People Were Riding Zebras In The Late 19th And Early 20th Centuries

A new photo archive by Vintag.es shows that some of the European colonizers penetrating Africa in the 19th and early 20th centuries were riding wild zebras as an alternative to horses. 

The reason behind it is the zebra's resistance to diseases carried by tsetse flies which made their domestication more attractive.  

However, as many European colonizers learned in the early 20th century, despite their similarity to horses, zebras are just a bit too wild to completely tame. 

Unlike horses, which naturally roam around munching on grass, zebras spend their lives cagily watching, evading and fighting savannah predators such as lions, cheetahs and crocodiles. Natural selection has bred zebras to be nervous, flighty and brutally aggressive if cornered. 

But taming individual zebras to perform horse-like duties has occasionally been successful. Lord Walter Rothschild, for instance, trained a team of zebras to pull a carriage, which he drove past Buckingham Palace to demonstrate their supposedly pliable nature.


Photos Show That People Were Riding Zebras From The Late 19th And Early 20th Centuries | black and white vintage photo of a carriage pulled by zebras
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People Posing With Their Cats More Than 100 Years Ago

Contrary to what the internet might have you believe, taking pictures of cats is not a new obsession. 

Since the dawn of photography, people with cameras have been aiming them at their pets who, though not always the most willing subjects, are usually most adorable.

Taking a trip through the archives proves that our collective love affair with cats goes way back and that those cuddling little creatures were as cute than as they are today. 


Lovely Vintage Photos Capture People Posing With Their Cats More Than 100 Years Ago | black and white sepia toned photographs young girl sitting on steps with a kitten and woman playing with a cat in a field
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"Vintage Cat Faces" On Tumblr Brings On The Nostalgic Spirit

Contrary to what the internet might have you believe, taking pictures of cats is not a new obsession. 

Since the dawn of photography, people with cameras have been aiming them at their cats. 

Tumblr page, Vintage cat faces, is taking us on a trip through the archives to find some cat photos from way back when, to show that a.) our collective love affair with cat pictures is an old one, and b.) the cats of the olden days were also very cute.

Vintage cat photos | black and white photography funny pic of a farmer milking a cow and squeezing an udder so that a stream goes straight into a cat's mouth
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Vintage Photos Show That Mickey Mouse Used To Look Quite Creepy

Ask any kid what his or her favorite place in the world is and in 90% of the cases, the answer will be Disney World.

However, the Disney World we all know and love today has come a long way since it first opened back in the 1950s.

If you take a peek at some vintage Disney vacation photos, you'll see this magical land hasn't always been the happiest place on Earth.

Actually, these photos will seriously give you nightmares. 

Mickey Mouse Used To Look Quite Creepy | black and white vintage photo of a boy kneeling between people dressed as mickey and minnie mouse | scary disney characters handing toys to small children
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Celebrating Women's Day With Sarcastic Retro Pics Only Pet Ladies Understand

Happy International Women's Day to all those ladies who will always prefer their pet over anything else.  We love and respect you all. 

Visit Anne Taintor's Pinterest account for more of her sarcastic world of retro women.  

Celebrating Women's Day With Sarcastic Retro Pics Only Pet Ladies Understand | best rebound relationship ever! | cats don't care if crazy | vintage colored photos of women holding cats
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Fascinating Historic Photos Of Cats Serving In The US Sea Services

According to Wikipedia, cats on board of sea service ships were a common feature on many trading, exploration, and naval ships, and dates back to ancient times. Cats have been carried on ships for many reasons, the most important being to catch mice and rats. These rodents aboard a ship could cause damage to ropes, woodwork, electrical wiring, the crew's food and the products itself. Rats and mice were also sources of disease, which is dangerous for ships that are at sea for long periods of time. Over the years, the crewmen of those ships have developed a special affection towards the adorable cats who have joined them for those long trips. 



Vintage photos of cats on US ships | black and white photograph of three sailors marines navy dressed in sailor suits and caps with pom poms on top, the one in the middle is cradling a kitten in his arms and the other two are reaching to pet it
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Rare Photos From The First Expedition To Antarctica In 1911

In 1911, a group of scientists and adventurers left Hobart under the leadership of Dr Douglas Mawson. They were bound for Macquarie Island and then, to the unknown parts of Antarctica. The scientists of the expedition achieved enormous information that later made a major contribution to the knowledge of the region. Here are some amazing photos from their adventure, including some adorable seals and penguins. 

Via: Vintage Everyday  


vintage photos of Antarctica expedition | black and white photo of a fluffy penguin with its wings spread while three less ruffled penguins watch
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Delightful Postcards From The 1950's Showing Dressed Cats In Human-Like Settings

From the 1940s through the 1960s, the Alfred Mainzer Company of Long Island City, NY published a series of linen and photochrome humorous cat postcards illustrated by Eugen Hartung (1897–1973), sometimes referred to as "Mainzer Cats". These postcards normally illustrated settings that are filled with action, often with a minor disaster just about to occur. While the dressed cats were by far the most popular and most plentiful cards, Hartung also painted other dressed animals – primarily mice, dogs, and hedgehogs.



vintage cat postcards
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Vintage Photos Proving People Were Always Fascinated By Baby Animals

One thing the internet has shown us, it is that few people can resist looking at images of cute animals. Turns out, it goes way back as these fascinating vintage photos show.  

vintage animal photos
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Food For Thought: Seventeen Fascinating Vintage Cat Food Ads

Take a walk down memory lane with these 21 vintage cat food ads! Some brands you'll recognize as popular foods still on shelves today. Others will ring no bells at all – and some will have you scratching your head – Carnation made cat food?!


vintage cat food ads
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These Vintage Photos Prove That Celebrities Love Their Cats Just As Much As We Do

These 30 awkward vintage photos of celebrities posing with their cats show us all that cats are amazing animals that bring even the most famous people much pleasure. Via: Vintag.es

celebrities with their cats
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13 Rare Candid Photos Of Kurt Cobain Playing With His Cats

Kurt Cobain was an animal lover and even considered opening a petting zoo. Kurt has said he liked cats over dogs because they don't care about anything that they don't find worth their time.

kurt cobain with cat
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