A Brief History of Bird Cages Through Time

Hendryx, round, hanging pagoda-style bird cage with a brass-wire seed screen and side-out tray.
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Oriental-style cages were popular during the Deco period, from the 1920s until the 1940s. One example, probably manufactured by Hendryx, was a round, hanging pagoda-style cage with a brass-wire seed screen and side-out tray (above).


The bottom was fastened to the top part of the cage with small, attached brass clips. On some models from this era, the clips were adorned with small owls or little figures of Asian men.

The stands for some of these cages echoed the shape of the cage. Hendryx, was a round, hanging pagoda-style cage with a brass-wire seed screen and side-out tray., incorporating cut glass and perforated metal inserts into the designs.

Canaries were popular pets during this period, and around 1929-1930, Hartz Mountain produced small, wood carrying cages labeled with the company name. A newer metal version later appeared.


Hartz Mountain antique canary carrier

(similar to the Hartz mountain canary carrier)

The American Radio Warblers, billed as canary songsters, were featured on live radio broadcasts during this era. The birds sang along with background music, and some of the recordings still exist on 78-RPM records (check Internet auction sites, or do a search for American Radio Warblers), which were marketed for human enjoyment and as training aids for canaries. 3 Vees, a seed, grit and egg food company,


manufactured a small cage for the Radio Warblers, and it is highly collectible today. Collectors also seek food containers (called advertising tins in the collectibles trade), feeders, magazines, books and other avian accessories from this period.


The Atomic Age (1945-1952) revolutionized Cages fabricated entirely of plastic, plastic seed-guards and decorative touches began to appear on mass-produced bird homes.

find all bird and parrot cages here

Cage styles began to evolve to reflect the new modern world and America’s love affair with the budgie. The chrome or brass finish Hendryx hatbox cage sported a circular design and featured a unique slide up cage tray that works something like a breadbox lid.

Prevue Hendryx Hatbox cage


Look for these at yard sales. People are emptying the 50s attics now, advised Greg Cristiano, a retired auto executive and former pet shop owner.

A Made in Occupied Japan label or stamping indicates that an item was fabricated in Japan during the American occupation (1945-1952) following World War II. Cages, toy cages and cage accessories made in Japan during this short period in history are quite collectible.

Molded plastic cage tops and bottoms in colors popular during the 1960s (harvest gold, avocado, etc.) began to appear in pet and variety stores. Canaries, finches and budgies were the species most commonly kept as pets, and large parrot cages were not yet readily available.


1960's style round metal bird cage


When the exotic bird hobby began to escalate in 1970s and 80s, the demand for practical, yet attractive parrot, cockatiel and macaw cages inspired new designer and large-scale production of cages for these birds.

find all bird and parrot cages here

The availability of tame, hand-reared hookbills spurred more people to obtain birds as pets and, by the 90s, rudimentary parrot cage had evolved into large, sleek, easy-to-care-for bird homes. Wrought iron gave way to cold-rolled steel and stainless steel.

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