I feel a new obsession coming on. I saw something at Joe and Nancy Zawadowski’s home that completely enchanted me. A collection of “Snuggle Pups.” I must find one. Or three. Or six.
Joe showed me an article about the creator of the Snuggle Pups, Frank W. Hopkins. Mr. Hopkins was a cartoonist. His cartoons about “Scoop, the Cub Reporter” debuted in 1912 and were published in newspapers around the country. He started a business, “Hop Service Inc.,” which created “Sales Promotional Ideas.”
In 1922, Mr. Hopkins introduced the “Snuggle Pups,” which quickly gained popularity – they were certainly a successful “sales promotional idea” for the companies that used them as enticements to gain membership, circulation, and readership.
Modern Stationer Serving the Office Products Dealer, Volume 5 (1922).
The pups apparently were made in three different compositions. One was a kind of plaster, another was wood (apparently beloved by the flappers of the day), and most were made of “smelter metal” 1. The pups had hollow interiors, and their heads were removable. The pups could be used to store small items, hold pencils, or whatever else your imagination could conjure up. The pups were a huge craze in the United States and Canada for a few years in the 20s. They were introduced in 1922, and their enormous popularity seems to have largely faded by about 1926.
A search on newspapers.com revealed an astonishing array2 of promotions for the snuggle pups from about 1922 – 1925. It was quit a craze. There were snuggle pup promotions, contests, mazes, “frolics,” and dances. They were extremely popular!
There were eight in the Snuggle Pup family “Daddy Dumbbell” and “Mother Snuggle” and their six children: Vamp, Jazz, Lucky, Snuggle, Dumbbell and Cuddle. Vamp was the only girl; the others were boys. Joe has all but the elusive Mother Snuggle.
Mon, Jun 23, 1924 – 10 · The Marion Star (Marion, Marion, Ohio, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
Newspapers held contests for which Snuggle Pups were awarded, there were Snuggle Pup contests, mazes and puzzles, and Snuggle Pup movie promotions. There were Snuggle Pup dances, “frolics,” and events.
Mon, May 5, 1924 – 10 · The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
Wed, Apr 2, 1924 – 19 · The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
Tue, Aug 5, 1924 – Page 1 · The Huntington Press (Huntington, Huntington, Indiana) · Newspapers.com
First graders in Georgia formed a “Snuggle Pup” club.
Soda Fountains had “Snuggle Pup” refreshments.
Joe found the sheet music, and his friend, musician John Pugh, played, sang, and taped it for Joe. Sweet!
Stories were told about the Snuggle Pups. As the story goes, they were naughty pups. Each had its own distinctive personality.
Sat, Jan 5, 1924 – Page 14 · The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
Tue, Feb 19, 1924 – Page 11 · The Evening Journal (Wilmington, New Castle, Delaware) · Newspapers.com
Sun, Aug 17, 1924 – Page 10 · The Huntington Press (Huntington, Huntington, Indiana) · Newspapers.com
Thu, Apr 10, 1924 – 15 · The Tampa Times (Tampa, Florida, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
According to the St. Louis Star, wood Snuggle Pups were a frequent companion to “flappers” in Chicago – “thousands” carried them.
Thu, May 4, 1922 – 12 · The Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America) · Newspapers.com
And then, the Snuggle pup craze faded. There were two other snuggle pups that turned up in my research, however; one a hot dog delicacy and the other a ladies purse.
- Joe informed me that “[t]he majority of the Snuggle Pups were made of something called smelter metal, pot metal, or white metal. All names for the same thing, which is mostly zinc.”
- My search revealed over 1000 newspaper articles about Snuggle Pups. Some concerned a picnic delicacy of the 1960s involving hotdogs and stuffing mix, and others from the mid-late 1920s concerned a ladies purse that was made to look like a dog, called a “Snuggle Pup.” Most, however, involved the sweet Snuggle Pups with which we are concerned in this article.