Wednesday, 30 March 2016

10 Interesting Historical Ostrich Feather Facts

Ostrich Feather's became sort after products in Britain and Europe during the major boom periods of 1875-1880 and 1902-1914.

  1. In 1821 the Cape of Good Hope sold 1230kg of ostrich feathers for 115 590 rix dollars.
  2. In 1858 only 915kg were sold at double the price of 1821
  3. There were only 80 breeding birds in 1865 which rose to 20 000 in 1875
  4. From 1875-1880 a pair of ostriches were selling for 1000 Pounds
  5. Quality feathers cost R200 per kilogram in 1884
  6. The most famous ostrich farmer was Max Rose who arrived in 1890, within 10 years he was the unrivalled feather baron of Oudtshoorn.
  7. Double -fluff feathers were produced by the cross breeding of Barbary Ostrich and South African bloodlines.
  8. In 1913 the best double fluff feathers fetched R650 per kilogram.
  9. This earned South Africa R6 million in 1913
  10. 1914 was the final year of the feather boom, A cheque for 100 000 Pounds was honoured by a bank in 1914 for a feather merchant. A year later a cheque for 1 Pound was refused by the same bank.
By the end of the First World War there were 314 000 domesticated ostriches in South Africa, this number fell to 2000 in 1940.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Railway over the mountains from George to Oudtshoorn

The building of the railway line from George to Oudtshoorn started in December 1908 from the George side and 1911 from the Oudtshoorn side. There were 2500 workers on the line.  7 tunnels were excavated and was completed in April 1913. The cost was 465 000 Pounds. It was officially opened on 6 August 1913 by Sir David de Villiers Graaff.