Arago: Exhibits


He's Got Tags That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle

He's Got Tags That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle

Owney was the canine mascot of the Railway Mail Service in the late 19th century. To mark the dog's frequent travels, postal clerks began attaching tags to Owney's collar. Even though the clerks in Owney's home town of Albany, New York, would remove each set of new tags when the dog returned home, before long the sheer number of tags he gathered as his trips got longer and longer began to weigh him down.

Postmaster General John Wanamaker heard of the dog's plight and gave him a jacket so that the tags could be more evenly spread on the dog's body.

On April 9, 1894, a writer for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that "Nearly every place he stopped Owney received an additional tag, until now he wears a big bunch. When he jogs along, they jingle like the bells on a junk wagon."

Owney and a number of his tags are on view in the museum's "Moving the Mail" exhibit gallery.