Saturday, August 30, 2014
THIS JUST IN: Michael has returned from the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show with a most amazing Civil War photograph album. It was assembled by Captain Robert Townsend, who commanded the USS Essex, a 1,000-ton ironclad gunboat, in the attack on Port Hudson, Louisiana, in September 1862 and the Red River Campaign in March-May 1864. Watch Mike tell about this fascinating item and an accompanying vintage letter. To purchase this item, please call (727) 822-3278.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Here’s another installment of interesting historical Florida ephemera and other items. First up: a copy of Life and Adventures in South Florida, a memoir by Florida pioneer Andrew P. Canova, who lived for a time in St. Petersburg.
Canova fought in the Third Seminole War in South Florida, and gives a personal account of his adventures in the book. Actually, the book is compiled from newspaper columns first published in the weekly Southern Sun in Palatka in 1885. This book is a collection published by Tribune Printing Co. in Tampa in 1906.
Here, too, are vintage maps of Tampa, two from about 1957 and another from about 1966. As always, such items give an insight into the city as it used to be and offer a reminder of just how much things have changed.
And finally, we have a vintage photo album, the kind you’d have found in a tourist shop. It has a leather cover with “Tampa, Fla.” printed on it and a hand-painted scene of wild Florida with an alligator. The album contains no photographs.
Click on any photograph to enlarge it. To purchase any of these items, please call (727) 822-3278.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The steamboat Planter may be the same vessel that was piloted by slave Robert Smalls through Confederate defenses in 1862 and surrendered to the Union Navy. It later served as a Union gunboat. However, that boat was beached in 1876, so if this is a photo of it in St. Augustine, it may be from the 1870s.
The USS Ericsson was based in Newport, Rhode Island, but was sent to Key West in 1897 to join U.S. forces in blockading Cuba in the months leading up to the Spanish American War. During the war, the vessel participated in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba and figured in the rescue of more than 100 Spanish sailors from the doomed crusier Vizcaya. The photograph may been taken on the Ericsson’s trip south or on its return in 1898.
In 1895, a wooden bridge was built across Matanzas Bay from St. Augustine to Anastasia Island (South Beach). It was renovated in 1904 to allow for a trolley. One photograph shows the gate to the toll bridge and seems to indicate a train was available. Another photo shows a two-team horse-drawn omnibus that connected with the South Beach train.
Click on any photograph to enlarge it. To purchase this book, please call (727) 822-3278.