A Doggone Legend! Why ‘Nipper the Dog’ Sits Atop Albany’s RCA Building
Last year, I dug into a few of the elements of the Capital Region that newcomers, like myself, may not understand right away. As I was curating ideas, I spoke with Charlie Voelker, who filled me in on the "Nipper Building".
Understandably confused, I did a bit of research, and what I found was a unique building, and an even more unique story, one that dates back to the mid-1800's.
Allow me to introduce a dog with a penchant for biting, and a statue with a long history in the Capital Region.
"Nipper the Dog" Originated in EnglandNipper the Dog dates back to the late 1800'sactual
The dog earned its name because of its penchant for "nipping" at the heels of the customers that would come into its owner's business. After its owner passed, the brother of the owner commissioned a painting of the dog, which was sold to the Gramophone Company.
Nipper Became an International Icon
A quick addition to the background story, for context. The image of the dog itself, that was painted by its owner's brother, featured Nipper "perking up" after hearing a voice recording of its owner, who had just passed.
Since the iconic image was created from a voice recording played on a phonograph, Nipper himself became synonymous with audio equipment. The image of Nipper first appeared in New Jersey on what would become known as the "Nipper Building", before making the move to Albany. A statue was commissioned of the dog, and has sat atop the RCA Building in the city since then.
Nipper Has Had its Difficulties, But Remains in Albany Today
For the time being, however, Nipper stays put, and in the process, represents a rich history of industrial success in the Capital Region.
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