Page 25 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - March 2020 - 27-03
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Senior Times - March 2020 Rin Tin Tin Collection
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 Regional History Museum
By: Nancy Hibiske-Reed
Yo Rinty!
The Museum of Dogs collection of Rin Tin Tin and German shepherd dog memorabilia is on display now through April at the Battle Creek Regional History Museum (BCRHM) located at 307 West Jackson St. in Battle Creek. The museum is open Saturdays 10am to 5pm and Sundays noon to 5pm.
and chauffer, and received up to 10,000 fan letters per week.
Few people realize there is a con- nection between Rin Tin Tin, the most famous movie German shepherd dog of all time, and Battle Creek Kellogg Company founder, W.K. Kellogg.
Lee Duncan was called to serve his country again in World War II. He, accompanied by Rin Tin Tin III, super- vised the training of 5,000 military war dogs and handlers at Camp Haan. Rin Tin Tin III was an enlisted officer with a military officer number tattooed under his right leg.
W.K. Kellogg loved German shep- herd dogs. In 1927, he received Rinson, son of Rin Tin Tin, from Lee Duncan, Rin Tin Tin’s owner. Rinson II and Rinette followed, both descendants of the iconic dog.
In 1954, the Rin Tin Tin legend was revived. The television show,
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, with its recognizable call of “Yo Rinty!” featured Rin Tin Tin IV along with other Rin Tin Tin dogs. Sponsorships, records, comic books, toys, playsets, games, plush dogs, collars, and leashes followed.
Rin Tin Tin’s story started during World War I in 1918 when an American soldier, Corporal Lee Duncan, was investigating a bombed out German dog kennel in France. There he found
a female German shepherd dog and
her five pups. Duncan rescued and rehomed the dogs, kept two of the pups for himself, and was able to bring the pups back to America. Those pups were named Rin Tin Tin and Nanette after small puppets the French children gave the American soldiers for good luck.
The Rin Tin Tin IV bloodline
was kept alive in Texas by Daphne Hereford, who passed in 2019. Daphne amassed the Museum of Dogs collec- tion of Rin Tin Tin and German shep- herd dog memorabilia. Her wish was for it to be displayed to the public.
In 1922 Duncan entered Rin Tin Tin, nicknamed Rinty, in a jumping contest at a dog show where the dog jumped over 11 feet. A friend filmed the event. That film was sold and Duncan col- lected $350, which was an enormous amount of money in 1922. Duncan’s idea of putting his dog in the movies was born.
Pieces from both Hereford’s and Condon’s collections will be featured at the Battle Creek Regional History Museum.
From 1923 to 1932, Rin Tin Tin made 28 movies for Warner Brothers. He was paid $6,000 a week, had a limo
Keep updated on the collection by liking the Battle Creek Regional History Museum on Facebook.
Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, Dan Condon, the self-proclaimed “Doctor of Dogology,” who passed in 2014, was compiling his own collection of German shepherd dog movie memora- bilia.
For more Rin Tin Tin histo-
ry, go to and
For questions about the display, please call the Battle Creek Regional History Museum at (269) 964-0750.
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