"FLORIDA IS THE PLACE FOR YOUR REAL HOME": FIRST EDITION OF FLORIDA: LAND OF HOMES, WITH MORE THAN 100 TINTED AND FOUR COLOR PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGES OF DISTINGUISHED FLORIDA HOUSES
(FLORIDA). Florida. A Land of Homes. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida State Department of Agriculture, circa 1924. Oblong quarto (12 by 11 inches), original embossed blind-, blue-, and gilt-stamped original cloth, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $850.
First edition of this luxurious album of photographs depicting the most beautiful houses and mansions in Florida, with over 100 green-tinted photographic images and an additional four in full color, published by the Florida Department of Agriculture to encourage wealthy visitors to relocate to Florida, in handsome embossed publisher's binding.
After World War I, Florida underwent an unprecedented land boom. Following the draining of the Everglades beginning in 1906 and the creation of U.S. 1, Florida became a prime spot for relocation and for the purchase of vacation homes. It was easier—particularly for Northerners—to reach Florida than ever before and huge tracts of land were for sale all over the state. Depicting in magazine and film as a sort of tropical paradise, Americans craved the easy, outdoorsy lifestyle that Florida seemed to promise. People from all over the country rushed to purchase their own pieces of the Florida Dream. Unfortunately, so did speculators and fly-by-night construction outfits. While many Americans genuinely did want to move to Florida, housing supply couldn't keep up with demand. The rail lines, in particular, weren't structured to accommodate the construction supplies that would have been required. Unfinished houses sat vacant and speculators were unable to pay off their debt. By 1926, the Florida Land Boom had proved to be a bust. Tourism—and Florida's enduring appeal—eventually dragged it out of crisis after the Great Depression. This book is clearly from the era of the Boom and proudly shows off the homes and mansions of the (mostly) rich using lush, green-tinted photography. The pitch is clear: Move to Florida, because everyone you know is already here.
A few spots of soiling to interior, a few faint stains and light wear to extremities of binding. Near-fine condition.