The rise and fall of Golden Gate Ostrich Farm
The early 1900s kicked off a new fashion trend: ostrich feather accents.
How it happened: The boom in demand led to ostrich farm operators flocking to California — with one such farm right here in San Francisco.
- The Golden Gate Ostrich Farm opened in 1913 at 47th Avenue and Balboa Street with a permit for 30 ostriches.
- "Extra Attraction!" a notice in the San Francisco Call advertised. "The interesting sight of Plucking the Giant Bird!"
- Another one promised an 18-inch special white French plume for $5.
Yes, but: When World War I broke out in 1914, the flamboyant feathers lost popularity as people began to dress more conservatively.
- The farm lasted about a year and a half before shutting down and donating (or ditching, depending on who you ask) their ostriches to Golden Gate Park.
Of note: You can still find ostrich farms in California — including Gilroy Ostrich Farm, south of San José.
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