Birds Vol 1 #5 – National Council of Women

Western Great Egret (Ardea alba) by Quy Tran

Western Great Egret (Ardea alba) by Quy Tran

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. May, 1897 No. 5



Extract from the report of the committee on dress, by its chairman, Mrs. Frank Johnson.

Birds, Wings and Feathers Employed as Garniture.

From the school-room there should certainly emanate a sentiment which would discourage forever the slaughter of birds for ornament.

The use of birds and their plumage is as inartistic as it is cruel and barbarous.

The Halo.

“One London dealer in birds received, when the fashion was at its height, a single consignment of thirty-two thousand dead humming birds, and another received at one time, thirty thousand aquatic birds and three hundred thousand pairs of wings.”

Think what a price to pay,
Faces so bright and gay,
Just for a hat!
Flowers unvisited, mornings unsung,
Sea-ranges bare of the wings that o’erswung—
Bared just for that!

Think of the others, too,
Others and mothers, too,
Bright-Eyes in hat!
Hear you no mother-groan floating in air,
Hear you no little moan—birdling’s despair—
Somewhere for that?

Caught ’mid some mother-work,
Torn by a hunter Turk,
Just for your hat!
Plenty of mother-heart yet in the world:
All the more wings to tear, carefully twirled!
Women want that?

Oh, but the shame of it,
Oh, but the blame of it,
Price of a hat!
Just for a jauntiness brightening the street!
This is your halo—O faces so sweet—
Death, and for that!—W. C. Gannett.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) by J Fenton

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) by J Fenton

Lee’s Addition:

I am so glad this campaign was started way back then. Wow! Do you realize how many birds were killed just so the ladies could be ” in style”? Here is a quote from the Feather Trade article. “On two days in 1886, ornithologist Frank Chapman walked the streets of New York City and recorded the types of birds he saw on ladies hats. On his walks he counted the wings, feathers, heads, and entire bodies of 174 birds representing 40 different species decorating the hats of ladies, including 21 hats decorated with parts of the common tern. Frank Chapman went on to start the annual Christmas Bird Count in 1890!”

If these were the feathers from chickens or turkeys I might understand part of it, but that above quote is terrible. And that is just 2 days. Another quote, this time from the National Parks article, “The long, white plumes of egrets had become more valuable than gold. To satisfy the demands of this latest fashion trend, more than 5 million birds a year were being slaughtered; nearly 95 percent of Florida’s shore birds had been killed by plume hunters.”

We are given a dominion mandate over the birds and critters to help maintain them. Yes, we are allowed to eat some, but to slaughter just for fashion or to hang a trophy bird or animal on a wall, there is a difference.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28 ESV)

Here are some articles about this issue:

The Feather Trade

The Call for a Featherless Hat – National Parks

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 May, 1897 No 5 - Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 May, 1897 No 5 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the first article in the monthly serial that was started in January 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited


(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Screech Owl

Previous Article – Nesting Time

Gospel Message

Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

2 thoughts on “Birds Vol 1 #5 – National Council of Women

  1. I was astounded at some of the other things that I didn’t include. This was enough to get the point across.
    Thanks for coming back over for a read.


  2. Wow, this is absolutely appalling! I had NO IDEA! Of course, I’m not the kind of person who would want to wear a dead animal — or parts thereof — on my head. I don’t wear hats at all now, but when I was younger, I loved wearing them — but NEVER with dead birds or any feathers or parts of animals of any kind. Just goes to show you how truly crazy the world can be — and how far off the mark is their thinking compared to their Creator’s.

    Hadn’t had much time to visit and read the past week, but one thing’s for sure: I can be sure that when I do get over here, I will learn something interesting.

    Thanks for sharing this. At least it’s a little heartening to see that we don’t do as much of that kind of thing these days.


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