In the early days of photography, animals weren’t exactly prioritized as subjects. Today, Instagram is littered with accounts devoted solely to pets, but in photography’s infancy, photo technology was still relatively expensive, and most photographer’s weren’t keen to spend those resources on pet pics. Although photographs of livestock and pets began to appear in the 1880s, such subjects remained relatively rare even into the 20th century.

Interestingly enough, photographs of circus animals are much more common. Before the advent of movies and pop music, the circus was the largest source of pop culture entertainment. Many circus goers had never seen an elephant or a giraffe before, and a visit to the circus was the only chance to see such wonders. Photographers were eager to snap some shots of these animals since seeing them was such a rarity. 

Because animal photographs are difficult to find, we’re especially excited to share these gems with you. We hope you love these furry friends as much as we do.