Meet the fashion phenom of the Forties, stylish squirrel Tommy Tucker! From being an orphaned rodent to a clothed chipmunk, his is a true rags to riches story told in black and white photographs by Nina Leen!
In the early 1940s, LIFE magazine reported that a Mrs. Mark Bullis of Washington, D.C., had adopted a squirrel “before his eyes were open, when his mother died and left him in a tree” in the Bullis’s back yard. Here, in a series of photos by Nina Leen, LIFE.com chronicles the quiet, rodential adventures and sartorial splendor of Tommy Tucker, the orphaned — and, in 1940s America, the celebrated — squirrel.
“Mrs. Bullis’ main interest in Tommy,” LIFE continued, "is in dressing him up in 30 specially made costumes. Tommy has a coat and hat for going to market, a silk pleated dress for company, a Red Cross uniform for visiting the hospital. Tommy never seems to complain, although sometimes he bites Mrs. Bullis. Mrs. Bullis never complains about being bitten.”
Good thing I didn’t get any ideas when I saw this little guy on my trip to Bangkok last year or I coulda ended up with rabies, leptospirosis, or some other ratty disease!
Loving these historic time capsules? Then you might want to check out the rest of our Throwback Thursday entries!