Birdseye View of the Kenilworth Ostrich Farm, with the San Gabriel Mountains beyond, as illustrated by Frank Leslie's Illustrated News in 1888.
The view is the centerpiece of a series of sketches by Frank Belt, with the remaining images showing pictures of the Ostriches and their eggs.
The Kenilworth Ostrich Farm, located near Los Angeles, was one of a number of Ostrich Farms in the Los Angeles area in the late 19th Century. The ostrich farming industry in America was inspired by the successful ostrich farming practices in South Africa. With an increasing demand for ostrich feathers in European and American fashion industries, entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to develop a domestic supply. As part of this wave, the Kenilworth Ostrich Farm was established, bringing an exotic slice of Africa to the outskirts of Los Angeles.
Ostrich Farms were more than just a farming endeavor; they also became an entertainment hub. The sight of the large, flightless birds roaming around was novel to many visitors, making it a popular attraction. People could take guided tours to learn about ostriches, their habits, and the process of harvesting feathers.
Moreover, the farm offered an array of experiences. Visitors could get up close and personal with the birds, feed them, and even partake in amusing ostrich cart rides, a delightful spectacle where these mighty birds were harnessed to small carts and ridden around the farm.
The craze for ostrich feathers in fashion eventually waned with the onset of the 20th century.