15 Interesting Vintage Portraits of Tommy Tucker, a Squirrel that Dressed Up Like Human in the 1940s

Many of us probably don’t remember Tommy Tucker, a famed D.C.-area squirrel who used to go to the grocery store in a tailor-made coat and hat. But luckily, LIFE magazine has opened up its archives to shine a bit of light on the dapper rodent.

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. LIFE then went on to observe that the squirrel, dubbed Tommy Tucker by the Bullis family, “is a very subdued little animal who has never had a chance to jump around in a big tree.”

Despite Tommy’s male anatomy, photographer Nina Leen and his owners styled the squirrel in drag for a LIFE magazine feature in 1944.

When Tommy died in 1949, his owners sent him off to be stuffed and promised his remains and outfits would end up at a museum. However, The Washington Post notes that Tommy never quite managed to find his way there.

This Year’s Model
Simple, Yet Elegant
Sorry, Did You Say Something?
The “Little Squirrel on the Prairie” Look
Forever Gingham
I Call This My “Going Visiting Dress”
Chill in the Air
Can’t a Squirrel Eat in Peace?
CPR: Cute Professional Rodent
A little girl dressing up her pet squirrel in baby doll dresses.
Too. Much. Starch. Can’t. Breathe.
One Sample per Customer, Please
A Clean Squirrel Is a Happy Squirrel
Ahhhh. Warm Towels.
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream … of Acorns …

(Photos: Nina Leen—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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