Feather Wars: Surviving Fashion 1870-1920 at the Palm Beach County History Museum

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County is proud to announce a new exhibit: Feather Wars - Surviving Fashion 1870-1920. The exhibit documents the extraordinary period in Florida (and fashion) history - that of decorating women's hats with plumage from the exotic birds of the Everglades and South Florida. The trend stretched around the globe and in turn, devastated Palm Beach County's native bird populations.

For that 50 year period, what started as a cottage industry quickly grew into a global phenomenon, the effects of which cannot be overstated for both Florida's get-rich-quick business leaders and the detrimental effects it had on birds.

Visitors to the exhibit will have the opportunity to see many historic photographs of this period and examine plume hunting artifacts from the era, such as taxidermy birds, plume hunting shotguns, bird skins, period clothing and a recreated 1914 hat shop. Lectures are planned throughout the run, which lasts until June 30th, 2011.

We hope you can make it out to the museum and learn about this unique time in Florida and Palm Beach County's 

history. The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum is operated by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County and is located in the historic 1916 Courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm. For more information on the Johnson History Museum or the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, please call 561-832-4164 or visit their website at

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