A Virtual Pet Parade

April 9, 2020

By Mathieu Deschaine

Pilot Tex Rankin holds a black cat that flew with him from New York to Los Angeles in 1918.

You may be familiar with the story of Bobbie the Wonder Dog, the legendary canine and viral sensation that walked from Indiana to Silverton, Oregon, after disappearing during a road trip in 1924. Bobbie has been immortalized in newspapers, film, and more recently in a mural in downtown Silverton. Silverton also boasts the nation’s longest running pet parade, gathering yearly since 1932 and featuring a range of pets including cats, dogs, chickens, goats, horses, roaches, and more.

The story of Bobbie the Wonder Dog resonates because it’s an example of the close connection we feel with our pets. It reminds us all to cherish the comfort and companionship they bring, and in that spirit, we’re sharing images of some of the animals in our digital collections. We hope you enjoy the OHS Virtual Pet Parade.

OHS Research Library, Oregon Journal Negative Collection, Org. Lot 1368, box 371, 0371N5920

On August 24, 1918, pilot Tex Rankin holds a black cat belonging to a Portland girl named Carol Mangold. Ranken flew with the cat on a national air race from New York to Los Angeles. Looks like black cats are lucky after all.

OHS Research Library, Oregon Journal Negative Collection, Org. Lot 1368, box 371, 0371N5920
https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/pilot-tex-rankin-holding-black-cat-2

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, b39; Finley D1633

Don’t feed the bears! This 1914 photograph of a bear cub is held in the William L. Finley Photographs Collection. During his career spanning from the 1890s to his death in 1953, Finley photographed thousands of birds and other wildlife throughout the western United States with his field partners Herman T. Bohlman and wife Irene Finley.

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, b39; Finley D1633
https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/bear-cub-20

OHS Research Library, Oregon Journal Negative Collection, Org. Lot 1368; Box 374; 374N0975

Affectionately known among Digital Collections Staff as Best Bunny, for obvious reasons, we present this fuzzy rabbit sitting atop a wooden box, which may have been taken at the annual Pacific International Livestock Exposition in Portland, Oregon.

OHS Research Library, Oregon Journal Negative Collection, Org. Lot 1368; Box 374; 374N0975
https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/rabbit-probably-at-livestock-show-3

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, b39; Finley D1778

William Finley photographed these three young cougar kittens in April 1914 during his tenure as Oregon’s state game warden. The photographs in OHS’s William L. Finley Photographs Collection from this era document some of his earliest game commission programs. They illustrate the establishment of fish hatcheries, pheasant farms, and cougar and bobcat tracking.

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, b39; Finley D1778
https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/cougar-kittens-11

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 1368, box 377

A favorite photograph among OHS staff, this photograph from OHS’s Oregon Journal Collections shows a boy and his dog enjoy a snow day while sledding.

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 1368, box 377
https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/unidentified-boy-and-dog-on-sled

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, b31; Finley C166

A male and a female coati (Mexican Ant-Bears) rest on a log in October 1925. William Finley took this photograph in October 1925 during a period of increased public prominence. For several years in the 1920s, Finley served as the official naturalist and lecturer of the American Nature Association. In January 1923, the association launched its official publication, Nature Magazine, which served as a platform for Finley to share his work in nature photography and to engage in conversations about pressing conservation issues. 

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, b31; Finley C166
https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/coati-4

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 1368, box 374

A woman admires a horse in this photograph that may have been taken at the Multnomah County Fair in Gresham, Oregon.

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 1368, box 374
https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/woman-with-horse

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, b37; Finley D1163

Pete, William Finley’s family dog, poses with a porcupine in Yellowstone National Park in 1920. In 1928 the Finley’s published Wild Animal Pets featuring their photographs of a menagerie of wild animals including bears, porcupines, chipmunks, badgers, skunks and condors, among others. 

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, b37; Finley D1163
https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/pete-the-dog-and-a-porcupine

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 1368, box 374

This impressive Angora goat isn’t the only one these days who needs a haircut. Hopefully attendees at the Pacific International Livestock Exposition in Portland, Oregon, where this photo was likely taken, were willing to appreciate its locks — the fiber of Angora goats is used to make mohair fabrics. 

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 1368, box 374
https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/man-with-angora-goat

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, b37; Finley D1027

In this photograph, Finley kneels on a rock ledge in Glacier National Park in 1927 wearing a white goat costume. His disguise allowed him to get within close range of elusive mountain goats, and was featured in a one-reel film titled Getting Our Goat.

OHS Research Library, Org. Lot 369, b37; Finley D1027
https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/william-l-finley-in-a-goat-costume-7

And there are so many more to explore and browse on OHS Digital Collections. So, give your pets all the ear scratches and belly rubs, and some extra ones for us. Share some photos of your dogs, cats, rabbits, lizards, ferrets, or any other creature in your home that has been recently promoted to coworker, in our #VirtualPetParade!

Categories: Collection HighlightsAudience(s): Visitors

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