During the holiday season, Edwin Cawston boasted: “I receive more mail at my ostrich farm in South Pasadena than Santa Claus at the North Pole.” He was correct of course. Cawston received mail requests for feather fashion products from all over the world. The mail orders came by the thousands, especially during the holiday season.
In actual practice, letters sent to the North Pole went unanswered to a Dead Letter Office. At the time it was against the law to open mail addressed to Santa Clause or Father Christmas. In 1913, the U.S. government authorized designated groups to help open letters addressed only to “Santa Claus.” Today, of course, Santa answers emails online at numerous sites such as Letters to Santa, Email Santa.com, Elf HQ, and Macy’s.
To promote his burgeoning mail order business, Edwin Cawston mailed thousands of catalogs and placed advertisements in a variety of regional and national publications.
Edwin Cawston offered women consumers the opportunity to dress like royalty at affordable prices. Only the most exquisite high-quality ostrich plumes were sold direct to consumers at producer prices, cutting out the middleman.
At the height of his ostrich farm’s success, Cawston opened retail stores in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
The South Pasadenan wishes you and your family love, joy, and good health during the holidays and the New Year.
Throwback Thursday is written and produced by Rick Thomas