17 November 2014

Some Game Bird Prices at Rock Island

History of market prices as especially presented on the pages of the Rock Island Argus, convey some interesting details for wild birds ready to be bought.

Market prices were indicated by the newspaper starting at least in 1870. There were no found mentions of wild birds being sold, though domestic chickens, turkeys and geese were available for purchase.

There are several dates when the prices associated with the Rock Island Market are presented upon a newspaper page, under the banner: Rock Island Market, starting in the early 1870s. The subtitle was Poultry, with three items of interest indicated. They were Prairie Chickens, Snipe and Quail.

Valuations were given, as considered for January 1877 through May 1878, as discovered by searching the pages of this newspaper, as available at the Chronicling America website.

Records considered are from January 21, 1877. Those, of final consideration are from May in 1878. During this period, the prices in the market for prairie chickens, snipe and quail never changed.

Prairie Chickens: 25 @ 30 c each
Snipe: 1.00 @ 1.25 per dozen
Quail: 1.00 @ 1.25 per dozen

The valuation did not change for the dates.

Thus, the historic importance is lesser, since, there are only a few dates available and no indicated variety in pricing. Other locales associated with the prices of game in local markets are much more expressive, and thus more important to any consideration of historic ornithology.

A page-by-page evaluation of each issue will certainly indicate more details for the game market at Rock Island, and contribute further to historic ornithology, especially for the upper Mississippi River region.