Brooklynites have been obsessed with photographing cats long before social media was a thing. These fancy felines were photographed by Brooklyn’s own amateur photographer and ophthalmologist, Ralph Irving Lloyd.
Lloyd was born in Poughkeepsie, New York on September 11, 1875. After high school, Lloyd moved to New York City and attended the New York Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, graduating in 1896. Two years later, he enrolled at the New York Ophthalmic Hospital for further training. In 1899, he opened his own private practice in Brooklyn and by 1926 specialized in ophthalmology, diagnosing and treating eye disorders. A trailblazer in his practice, Lloyd was also a founder and president of the Brooklyn Ophthalmological Society.
For the majority of his life, Lloyd resided at 14 8th Avenue in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope. After retiring in 1959, he pursued photography to pass the time; snapping images of local historic buildings and homes. He also fancied cats, as the photograph above shows.
Lloyd passed away at the age of ninety-three on May 9, 1969 and is buried in Poughkeepsie, New York.
This image comes from the Ralph Irving Lloyd lantern slides (V1981.015). For more information please see our finding aid here and for more photographs from this collection please visit our image gallery here.
Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections; visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. [email protected].