One of the earliest dated artifacts of the CFA Foundation is a leather-bound scrapbook containing newspaper articles, illustrations, letters, photos and other memorabilia dated between 1880 and 1897. While the content is in somewhat fragile condition, research has determined that it was compiled by Samuel C. Perkins of Philadelphia, known to be an avid scrapbooker during this time period .... and an admirer of cats.
Photograph from the Samuel Perkins scrapbook
"Samuel C. Perkins was fond of cats. When he was not attending to his large law practice or his duties as president of the Commission for the Erection of the Public Buildings of Philadelphia, Mr. Perkins was likely to be found at home, pasting up clippings about his new City Hall in leather-bound scrapbooks, while a feline pet or two arched against his legs, or nestled happily in his lap. "
The Cats on City Hall
Thanks to Mr. Perkins, and architect John McArthur, Jr., there are carvings of Mr. Perkins' cats (all eight of them) carved out of stone in a chamber in Philadelphia's City Hall. If you live in Philadelphia and visit city hall, enter from the south and the cats can be found inside the chamber with "JUSTICE" above the doorway.
This scrapbook was discovered at a cat show in Erie, PA by Karen Lawrence; purchased and donated by Peace Bridge Aby Fanciers in 1999.
©Karen Lawrence 2011
Published: Cat Talk, January/February, 2011