Scanning Around With Gene: A Visit to the Sunshine State
I’ve been to Florida a number of times, but always for business and only to the Miami and Orlando areas, which are small representations of a very large state. And I’ve never been to Disney World or any of the other Orlando attractions. So I can’t say I really know the state.
But I’ve always had a fondness for Florida, thanks in part to the promotional imagery the state puts forth. I love the alligator farms, the water ski shows, the orange groves and the art-deco buildings in Miami. And when I was a kid, my family watched the Jackie Gleason show every week, which broadcast from Miami Beach. So I thought today I’d share images from Florida tourist pamphlets, postcards, and other items in my collection. Click on any image for a larger version.
Florida is an interesting state with a rich history. Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon named it Florida (Flowery Land) back in 1513, a name that makes a lot of sense. The flowers are, indeed, beautiful.
Florida has always been a haven and has plenty of transplants from other areas of the United States and the world. I imagine the state to be very cosmopolitan, with a mix of cultures.
Besides the people, the terrain and climate most identify the state. I’d love to go to the Everglades and can barely imagine what that giant expanse is like.
And then there are the beaches. Florida has the longest coastline in the continental United States and faces both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, so there's a wide variety of coastal play land.
Despite the mostly attractive climate, until the mid-20th century, Florida was one of the least populous southern states. The prosperity of the 1920s and a big tourist push started a land boom in the state that continued off and on until today. Now Florida is the fourth most populous state in the U.S.
The climate has its drawbacks, for sure, and it was partially the widespread availability of air conditioning that led to the population rise. The humidity can be devastating.
It’s rare to be a Florida native -- about two-thirds of the state’s 18 million+ population came from another state or country. More than 25% of Florida’s population speaks a language other than English as its primary at-home language.
I’m going to make it a point to get to Florida and see more of the state. All these great images make me want to buy a beach ball and some suntan lotion and head for the shore.