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Stereographs of Florida and the Caribbean


Stereoviews of Florida

Lake Worth
Lemons, Lake Worth

Pineapples,
Indian River

Jupiter

South Beach

The popularity of stereographs coincided with the increasing settlement of Florida.  While early stereoviews mostly featured the developing tourist meccas of Jacksonville and St. Augustine, improved transportation routes later facilitated the production of images of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Palm Beach, Miami and the Everglades.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine - click to enlarge
St. Augustine
Native Americans
Indians, St. Augustine

Following late nineteenth-century journalists’ and writers’ descriptions of Florida as a verdant paradise, stereoview photographers focused their cameras on the natural beauty of the sub-tropical environment.

Stereoviews frequently carried captions such as “Florida, the land of Flowers and Tropical Scenery,” reflecting the Northern visitor’s enchantment with Florida’s landscape.

Key West

Key West
Key West
Key West
Cows in street
Key West
Sponge dock

Loading coal

Turtle Crawl
     

Most popular were images of citrus groves, coconut palms and pineapple fields, often accompanied by textual explanations of the cultivation and harvesting of tropical fruits.

To appeal to the growing market of winter tourists to Florida, stereoviews also featured images of historic monuments and posh accommodations, such as St. Augustine’s Alcazar and Ponce de Leon hotels. These views served both as pictorial momentos of visits and as advertising for potential visitors to Florida.

Miami

Miami
Swimming pool
Royal Palm Hotel
Royal Palm Hotel

Miami River
Miami stereoview -- click to enlarge
Flagler Street

Hotel construction

Hotel completed

Miami River

Villa Serena

Although stereoviews depicting the tropical scenery of Key West were available as early as the 1870s, the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898 attracted large numbers of photographers who contributed to the publication of thousands of views. While documenting the events of the war, photographers also took the opportunity to present unique aspects of island life, including views of the capture and sale of sharks, sea turtles and sponges.

Tropical Scenery

Indian River - click to enlarge
Indian River
coconuts stereoview - click to enlarge
Coconuts
palms stereoview - click to enlarge
Coconut Palms

Next: Stereoviews of the Caribbean


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