Archive for May, 2013

On February 20, 1946, the Liberty ship SS Warren P. Marks arrived at Chelsea Piers (Pier 60) on the Hudson River carrying 81 dogs and “one live cat from Bremerhaven, Germany.” The dogs and cat had all been obtained overseas during World War II by American soldiers who wanted to keep them as pets back home.

    Although their names were omitted from the payrolls, the fire dogs of the Metropolitan Fire Department played some very important roles in nineteenth-century New York City. Not only were they considered pets of the firehouse and furry friends of the neighborhood, but they also worked hard barking loudly to clear the streets ahead […]

An old maritime superstition was that if a mascot was lost at sea, a member of the crew would be lost shortly thereafter. Even worse, a lost mascot on a maiden voyage spelled constant disaster for the ship in the future. That is why when Olaf the cat fell overboard on the Sud Americano’s maiden […]

In my last post about old New York, I wrote about a Newfoundland who almost lost his life while taking part in a swimming race from Randall’s Island to the Harlem Beach Bathing Pavilion in July 1884. Apparently the manager of the Harlem beach, Frederick Kenyon, wasn’t fazed by this close call on the East […]

On July 18, 1884, a swimming race for dogs took place at the Harlem Beach Bathing Pavilion – also known as the Harlem Beach Baths – located on New York’s East River at the foot of East 116th Street. Frederick Kenyon, the manager of the beach, had arranged the event to attract crowds and make […]