Ostrich drawn cart at The Ostrich Farm, Jacksonville

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Ostrich Cart at Jacksonville Ostrich Farm

Ostrich drawn cart, Jacksonville, Florida - scan from a postcard printed in the United States and mailed in 1911

The image shows an ‘Ostrich drawn cart’ with four wheels on which a man is sitting and controlling the ostrich which is pulling the cart. The grassy land on which the cart is standing indicates that the cart is not on a road or thoroughfare, but it seems the ostrich cart has been setup for photographing this image only.

There is no date printed on this image, which is scanned from a period postcard, published by the Valentine & Sons Publishing Company, New York and Boston, and printed in the United States. But the postcard was mailed and it bears the postmarked year 1911.

At the bottom of the image it is printed: “The Racing Ostrich, Jacksonville, Fla”. It seems the printing of this postcard was part of promoting tourism in Jacksonville where ‘The Ostrich Farm’ was opened in 1892. There are also reports that the farm and its ostrich races were ‘one of the most famous early tourist attractions in the history of Florida’.

There is an annual Ostrich Festival, sponsored by the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and regularly organized at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler, Arizona, United States. The festival also offers attractions such as ostrich races, carnival rides, music concerts, sea lion shows, pig races, dance programs, dog shows, magic shows, and car shows.

Ostrich riding is a very common sight in some parts of Africa, and it is important as a part of the modern South African culture. For riding ostriches, or for using ostriches as cart-pulling birds, specially designed and produced reins, saddles, and other accessories are required, more or less similar to what you see in the picture above.

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