Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - THE FEATHER TRADE -


Mrs Pankhurst’s Pur­ple Feather by Tessa Boase (Au­rum; due on 3 May 2018) This up­com­ing ti­tle tells the par­al­lel sto­ries of the suf­fragette move­ment and the women who cam­paigned against the trade in feath­ers.

BUSI­NESS RECORDS Lon­don Metropoli­tan Archives lma- cat­a­logue Lo­cal archives may have de­tails of plumage-re­lated busi­nesses, es­pe­cially in Lon­don, which was the hub of the in­dus­try. Trade di­rec­to­ries and ad­ver­tise­ments in news­pa­pers are also use­ful sources of in­for­ma­tion.

CEN­SUSES You can ac­cess cen­sus records on an­ces­ and find­my­, and will find that a wide range of job ti­tles were used in the plumage in­dus­try. Broadly, peo­ple who sourced feath­ers for sale in the UK are de­scribed as “feather mer­chant”, “dealer” or “im­porter”. Those who owned plumage busi­nesses were of­ten called “feather man­u­fac­tur­ers”, whereas peo­ple work­ing on the fac­tory floor prepar­ing them for sale are listed as “feather dresser”, “feather worker”, “feather dyer” and so forth. Many oth­ers had roles in oc­cu­pa­tions such as fash­ion, millinery and taxi­dermy. How­ever, bear in mind that the words ‘feather’ and ‘leather’ can look very sim­i­lar in hand­writ­ten job ti­tles, which may lead to these two in­dus­tries be­ing con­fused.

WEB­SITES Fash­ion­ing Feath­ers fash­ion­ingfeath­ In 2011 the Univer­sity of Al­berta ran an ex­hi­bi­tion about the his­tory of the plumage trade, es­pe­cially in con­nec­tion to millinery. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing web­site is highly il­lus­trated and full of in­for­ma­tion.

Os­trich Farm (1962) os­trich­farm You can watch a three-minute film from Bri­tish Pathé about an os­trich farm in South Africa on YouTube.

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