A Real Photo Post Card circa 1935 of Charles E. Lofgren personnel officer of the Byrd expedition to Antarctica in 1928.
I found numerous mentions of C. E. Lofgren, but I was really interested in the dog. Not only because I used to have a dog named Crispus who looked quite a bit like the husky here, but also because the dog obviously did the real work!
It appears the dog was one Tom Pratt! He WAS a hero, and was retired after his super dog achievement to tour the country in a rumble seat! The Byrd exhibition set up camp at "Little America" and stayed at the South Pole a while, long enough for Tom Pratt to be born there. Which would mean Tom Pratt only pulled a sled out, not in.
Did I say Tom Pratt retired? Um…nope. in 1937 it is reported Tom was pulling Santa in a Christmas parade in Lawrence, Kansas! How embarrassing. They still made him work? Well, my Malamute loved to pull, so I guess it was alright. In 1933 Tom was reported not only to weigh 170 pounds (!) but to be on the road entertaining school children in Pittsburgh.
When Tom Pratt "…was a pup he played with the penguins" according to the Pittsburgh Press of March 15, 1933. He tugged supplies from a boat 800 miles to the camp. I've made plenty of 800 mile drives. It takes two days, and in the hotel room halfway through I'm exhausted. Tom had to do the whole trip, more than once, with his paws!
Lofgren kept Tom on the road a long time. They toured the country for years by automobile, covering some 100,000 miles. All I can say is "GOOD dog!" My dog had the same grin.
As you can see here, Lofgren liked his dogs…he was breeding them ten years before the exhibition according to the Field Dog Stud Book.
C.E. Lofgren and his hero dog Tom Pratt Real Photo Postcard circa 1935
collection Jim Linderman