The ostrich palaces of Oudtshoorn are a common sight in the Klein Karoo town. The great feather boom began in 1870 with ostrich feathers being exported at around 450 000 kilograms a year. The fashions of Europe demanded more and more feathers, inspiring a growth in the industry and record prices in international markets. The consequences of the boom meant that ostrich farmers experienced a new level of opulence, and were able to build beautiful mansions made of sandstone. Sadly the feather boom came to a standstill during first and second World Wars and has yet to recover to such high levels.