The Poultry Review June 1908

For your reading pleasure we present the June 1908 issue of the Poultry Review, in its entirety, as a downloadable pdf here (via Download a hi-res version of the Art Nouveau styled cover suitable for framing here. We picked up this obscure periodical at the American Poultry Association meet we went to over the weekend. Highlights of this issue of the Poultry Review include an article entitled “What Does it Cost a Year to Keep a Hen?”

“What does it cost a year to keep a hen? This was the conundrum propounded to the chairman of the Committee on Agriculture at Washington a few days ago. The congressman who asked the question was in a facetious mood, and the question was greeted with ripples of laughter. But it is no laughing matter to several millions of people in the United States. It is a more important question to the poultry keeper than the cost of our army and navy, the amount of the river and harbor bill, or even the fate of our foreign dependencies.”

The article goes on to tell how the Boston Herald took up the question and offered a prize for the three best answers, a testimony to how many people kept chickens at the time.

For those tired of poultry, an ad in the back of the Poultry Review asks, “Are you Discouraged with Chickens? If so, try the Ginseng Business. It will pay you LARGER, SURER, PROFITS, requires very little land and the least amount of work of any crop grown. Sells for $6.50 to $9.00 a pound.” Sounds like the $20 a pound Goji berries I saw at Whole Foods last week.

Like many magazines and newspapers today, the line between the editorial department and the business end is a little vague. Poultry Review, in fact, seems to be a thinly disguised ad for the “Philo System of Progressive Poultry Keeping” developed by its editor as an intensive method of raising chickens.

Now, who can identify the chicken breed on the cover? Leave us some comments . . .

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  1. That’s very interesting that it was published in Elmira, NY… I coincidentally grew up about 15 miles from there in Van Etten, NY. Just sayin’..

  2. Hmmm…they look like Light Brahmas, but there’s a few breeds that have that general coloration. I really thought they might be Light Brahmas until I looked at Shellie’s Columbian Wyandotte link!

  3. Hi,
    For what it is worth I live in E.R. Philo’s house. The Poultry Institute building is still standing as is the press shop which is now a motorcycle shop.

  4. I have a book called “Poultry Profits” by the Philo system,its from 1912, it has alot of pictures. There is a picture of the press shop from 1912.

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