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African Ostrich Farm and Feather Company


SKU: 8208
Product Details


Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the African Ostrich Farm and Feather Company dating back to the 1910's. This document, which has been signed by the company President and Treasurer, was printed by the Broun-Green Company, and measures approximately 13" (w) by 9 1/4" (h).


The certificate's unique vignette features an ostrich farm at the base of snow covered mountains.


You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

Historical Context

In 1909, William H. Hile (who has signed this piece as the company President) raised a million dollars to open an ostrich farm in Espy, Pennsylvania - just outside Bloomsburg. The company was designed to be a cooperative, with profits shared with his impoverished suppliers back in Africa.


Ostrich feathers were the fashion rage of the time, and Hile believed he could sell them for a tidy sum, along with ostrich eggs and meat. The farm was also thought to be able to attract tourists, who would pay to see the unique creatures.


Well, only the tourist element appeared to actually be profitable. The ostriches did not do well in the Pennsylvania winters, severely hampering egg output. The feather rage died quickly as well.


The farm closed it doors in 1915.