Friday, April 24, 2009

Antique Poultry magazines

Mrs. Louise Burr of Oxford, Connecticut has generously donated 41 antique poultry magazines and catalogs to SPPA. Thank you, Mrs. Burr!

The collection includes six poultry and equipment catalogs dating between 1907 and 1916, such as the 1911 Close to Nature Incubator and Brooder catalog shown here.

Pratt's New Poultry Book was published by the Pratt Food Company of Philadelphia in 1907. The booklet sold for 25 cents and promoted Pratt products, such as Pratt's Poultry Regulator (formerly Pratts Poultry Food); Pratts Roup Cure, a scientific preparation of undisclosed ingredients; Pratts Lice Killer, both powdered and liquid forms, both of which are effective against lice on other livestock and premises but are neither poisonous nor explosive -- this may have referred to the practice of using kerosene and other flammable products to kill pests; and Pratts Correspondence School of Poultry-Keeping, $2 for a course worth $35.

Four copies of Poultry Monthly from 1910 are included. The Poultry Item is represented by a dozen issues from 1910 and 1911. Sixteen copies of the American Poultry Advocate from 1910-1913 are included.

The cover of this December 1910 Commercial Poultry attracted me, one of three issues of that title. The geese pictured are not mentioned inside, but are probably American Gray Geese, then a common farm bird but rarely found now in naturally reproducing flocks.

All these magazines contain articles on various breeds and poultry husbandry practices. Bear them in mind when you are looking for information from the early 20th century. The advertising is as informative as the articles, indicating what was for sale and what the advertisers saw as selling points to their publics. Profitability of poultry operations was a major sales pitch ("$12,000 from Plain Poultry in Eight Years! Send for free booklet").

The wide variety of breeds available commercially is always amazing. Large ads for Houdans; Wyandottes (Golden, Columbian, White, Silver Laced); Rocks, Barred, White, Buff and Partridge; Minorcas; Leghorns of many varieties; Orpingtons Buff, Black and White; Polish in five color varieties; Silver Penciled and White Hamburgs; Brahmas; Cochins; Anconas and Black Langshans grace the pages of this issue.

These magazines document past days of small flock poultry raising, when traditional breeds were valued in the marketplace. The times augur well for a return to that position.


Jeannine Young said...

What a generous donation that is much appreciated by those of us who enjoy our chickens! Thank you and thank you to Christine for sharing.

PoultryBookstore said...

It's truly a wonderful blessing. Getting this material into one place will help save it, too.