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With love from the sunshine state: Photos that show life in Florida around 100 years ago

Boban Docevski

Many people consider Florida as one of the best states in the USA where you can spend your life. It is especially popular amongst senior folks. And why is that so? Probably because of the perfect weather, the ocean, the food, the low taxes etc. Florida is peaceful, relaxed warm and welcoming state for everybody. It is nicknamed “the sunshine state” with a reason and no wonder the state’s name means “flowery” when translated from Spanish. Florida has a long and amazing history, here are some photos that reflect how the state looked like around 100 years ago, at the beginning of the 20th century. The photos are part of the Florida Memory project led by the state library & archives of Florida. The goal of the project is to preserve the state’s historical and cultural documents.

 

Eight men with their Penny-Farthing bicycles. These gentlemen were part of the Florida Cycling Club in Tallahassee, Florida. The photo was taken sometime between 1885 and 1910

 

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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory (Alvan S. Harper 1847-1911).

 

Fishermen proudly showing off their catch, a huge bonito shark. The photo is taken in Key West, probably in 1911
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

A huntress with her trusty weapon. This picture is taken in Tallahassee, Florida between 1880 and 1899
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

A group photo of the participants of the Second annual Citrus Seminar – Gainesville, Florida in 1911. Florida is famous for citurs products
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

This is the Mills family, living in a railroad car near the Tavares & Gulf Railroad in Tavares, Florida. The picture is taken in 1915
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

This picture from 1906 shows a train wreck on a bridge in Tampa, Florida. It makes you wonder how did they manage to take the locomotive out?
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

This lady is enjoying the Florida sun in Palm Beach. It looks like this beautiful resort was always popular. The photo is taken in 1896
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

Another summertime photo from Palm Beach. Nice swimsuits… The photo is taken in 1904
Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

A “scandalous” photo of some Florida girls showing off their ankles! The photo was taken in Pensacola, Florida in 1905
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

Young Cigarmakers in Englehardt & Co. Many small boys and girls used to work in those days. The boy in the middle is smoking a cigar. The photo is taken in Tampa, 1909.
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Photo credit: Library of congress

A band is ready to welcome President Grover Cleveland in Lakeland. The president was passing trough here while on his way to a fishing vacation south of Polk County. Picture was taken in 1894
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

This is Cape Florida Lighthouse. It was constructed in 1825, to guide mariners off the Florida Reef. The picture was taken in 1901. The lighthouse still stands today.
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

A picture of the original Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. The picture shows the fire that burned in down in 1903. This was a famous hotel built by Henry Flagler in 1896 and later rebuilt in 1903 and again in 1925 after another fire…
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

The Alcazar hotel-casino pool. Another hotel built by the famous industrialist Henry Flagler in 1887. Otto C. Lightner, a publisher from Chicago purchased the building in 1946 to house his collection of American gilded age antiquities. Today this building is the Lightner Museum and instead of taking a bath in this pool, you can sit in the museum restaurant that replaced the pool. This picture was taken in 1905
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

A city street in St. Augustine, the oldest city in Florida and the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the USA.
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

A parade organized for the fourth of July in 1914, on the streets of Delray Beach, Florida
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

Florida orange pickers in a grove. Providing oranges for the whole USA since the beginning of the 20th century. Picture was taken in 1910
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

Winter in Florida. A mother pulling her child on a sled. Picture from De Land in 1980
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

A group of people around a trolley cart in Tampa, Florida (1892)
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

The interior of a public bath house in White Springs, Florida in 1912. The springs of this bathhouse used to produce 32,400 Gallons water a Minute. Remnants of the bath house can be seen at Stephen Foster Memorial State Park.
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Photo credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

 

Source: onlyinyourstate, floridamemory, libraryofcongress