Museum Open

The New-York Historical Society Museum will be open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. For details, please visit our calendar.

Cats on the Wall

Object Number: 
2000.455
Date: 
1885-1900
Medium: 
Cardboard, paper, wood
Dimensions: 
box: 1 5/8 x 23 1/4 x 13 1/4 in. ( 4.1 x 59.1 x 33.7 cm )
Marks: 
lithographed: on the box cover: "CATS ON THE WALL/ McLOUGHIN/ BRO'S/ NEW YORK"
Description: 
"Cats on the Wall" table shooting gallery in a box with two wooden pistols and three wooden balls; cardboard wall with lithographed bricks and shrubs set into a wooden stand; five pins, printed with images of five different cats on the top half and wooden boards on the lower half, are attached to the wall with fabric at the centers; reverse of the pins printed with numbers in the center of a target; paper covered cardboard box top lithogrphed with five cats on the top of a wall and a personified half moon; box cover inscribed, "CATS ON THE WALL/ McLOUGHIN/ BRO'S/ NEW YORK"; instructions printed on the inside of the box top.
Gallery Label: 
In turn-of-the-century cities, wild cats proliferated, feeding on the garbage and rats that the authorities consistently failed to remove. Since alley cats were considered pests, few blinked an eye at the way street kids used them for target practice.
Bibliography: 
Hofer, Margaret K. "The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board & Table Games." New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003.
Credit Line: 
The Liman Collection
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group