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Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce

Sarah Abrevaya Stein

Abstract

The thirst for exotic ornament among fashionable women in the metropoles of Europe and America prompted a bustling global trade in ostrich feathers that flourished from the 1880s until the First World War. When feathers fell out of fashion with consumers, the result was an economic catastrophe for many, a worldwide feather bust. This book draws on rich archival materials to bring to light the prominent and varied roles of Jews in the feather trade. The author discovers that Jews fostered and nurtured the trade across the global commodity chain and throughout the far-flung territories where ost ... More

Keywords: exotic ornament, global trade, ostrich feathers, Jews, feather trade, global commodity chain, feather handlers, global commerce, Sephardic families, entrepreneurial farms

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780300127362
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300127362.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sarah Abrevaya Stein, author