Boston Cat Club Ribbons (1907, 1908, 1912, 1916)
Historical artifacts and records indicate that cat shows were first held in the United States as early as 1878 in Boston, with the first one being organized at the Boston Music Hall on March 1st of that year. These shows were often held in association with the Boston Poultry Association. Articles from the various Boston newspapers detail stories about the Boston Cat Show on an annual basis thereafter.
It is reported by the Boston Post that "At the upcoming show (January 16, 1906), there will be benched more than 200 cats." and that "Entries have been received from many parts of Canada and the West and all of the New England States will be represented." The Secretary of the Boston Cat Club, Mrs. George B. Brayton, exhibited five cats at the 1906 show which was held in Talbot Hall at Boston's Mechanics Building. The January 8, 1906 Boston Post describes the cats that Mrs. Brayton would exhibit:
"Leading the five cats that Mrs. Brayton will bench is Cushka, who has the honor of having won five specials and a first at the Madison Square Garden show, four specials and a first at Rochester, N.Y.. and two specials and a first in Boston." CUSHKA, a Blue Smoke female (BCC 642; Blue Boy x Mimi) was bred by Miss Gardiner in England, imported by Mrs. Robert D. Locke of Chicago, and owned by Mrs. G.B. Brayton of Allston, MA.
JUMBO, Blue BLUE BOY, Blue | SILVER, Blue CUSHKA, F, Blue Smoke, BCC 642 | BLUE BOY, Blue MIMI, Silver Tabby BOOTS OF BRIDGEYATE, Silver Tabby
In addition, Mrs. Brayton would exhibit a kitten of "rare promise" that already had under its belt "four specials and a first at Chicago, and four specials and two firsts at Rochester." Plus, "Syche, a female has a record of two firsts and a special at New York, a first and special in Boston, and a first and special in Rochester. Rounding out her five entries were "two baby smokes".
An advertisement was published in the June 23, 1912 edition of The Boston Sunday Post indicating that the secretary of the Boston Cat Club acted as a "selling agent" for kittens. The advert reads:
THE BOSTON CAT CLUB SELLING AGENCY
Boston Cat Show, 1917
The Fairfield Tribune reported, in its January 8, 1917 issue, that the "Boston Poultry Show, one of the premier exhibitions of its kind in the United States, opened in the Mechanic's Building (on January 7th). Both in the number and variety of exhibits the show this year eclipses all of its predecessors. Another big feature is the annual show of the Boston Cat Club, which is being held in conjunction with the poultry show."
The Boston Post, in its January 11, 1917 edition gave a detailed report on the cat show, as follows:
"While the throng of poultry lovers were admiring the birds downstairs, cat enthusiasts were having their innings in the upstairs hall, where the 12th annual show of the Boson Cat Club opened. There are about 200 of the felines, in large wire cages elaborately trimmed with silk hangings, silk pillows and tiny silk mice for the kitties to play with. Thousands of dollars are represented in the silky-haired animals that occupy the pens.
"Among the notables of catdom shown are Mrs. George Brayton's beauties, always a treat to cat lovers, "Peggy" the famous shaded silver female, a cat of perfect points owned by Mrs. Hilda M. Kelley of Weymouth, a one and one-half year old beauty that has been made famous by a pair of exquisite green eyes; 'Beauty, a Persian, owned by Miss C.A. Roby of Concord, N.H., and 'Winter Starlight', son of CH King Winter, a silver Persian, owned and shown by Miss Carroll Macy of Knox County, ME. "
Highly Collectible Badges
The 1907, 1908 and 1912 ribbons were manufactured by Whitehead & Hoag Company, which was founded in Newark, NJ in 1892 and became one of the prominent manufacturers of ribbon badges, and eventually of advertising novelties throughout the United States. The company was sold in 1959 to Bastian Brothers of Rochester, NY.
The 1916 ribbon was produced by the Boston Regalia Co, located in Boston. Boston Regalia produced a variety of badges, many of them associated with the Masonic Lodge. Today, badges, pins, and other memorabilia produced by both Whitehead & Hoag and Boston Regalia have become highly collectible.
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