Apr 29, 2012

Miami, Florida (A963)

Scenes from the View-Master packet Miami and Miami Beach (A963) from the Famous Cities Series.


View-Master Miami and Miami Beach (A963), Packet Cover

Packet Cover


View-Master Miami and Miami Beach (A963), Booklet Cover

Booklet Cover


From the 16-page booklet:


Miami is America’s newest large city. There were but three houses and a handful of residents living here in 1895. Prior to that time, it had been an army fort. But ‘95 was “the year of the big freeze,” and things have not been quite the same since. Julia Tuttle, sensing a golden opportunity in her frost-free garden, sent a fresh bouquet of orange blossoms to millionaire Henry Flagler in West Palm Beach, where citrus crops were wiped out. Her message was not wasted on him. Flagler ran his Florida East Coast Railroad into Miami that same year. Miami has continued to grow, sometimes at a frantic rate, since the first train pulled in. The city now has 310,000 year-round residents. And the metropolitan area, which includes Miami Beach and 25 other communities, has a permanent population of 1,154,000.

Miami is a Seminole Indian word for “sweet water.” However, Jackie Gleason has given it new meaning in millions of American homes: “How sweet it is!”


Scene 1

Aerial—Downtown Miami

View-Master Miami and Miami Beach (A963), Scene 1: Downtown Miami from the Air

Miami, the wintertime tourist mecca


From the 16-page booklet:


Our View-Master Guided Picture Tour of the “Magic City” begins, as do many others, in the sky above this “Gateway to Latin America.” Miami International Airport is the hub of air traffic between North and South America (and a few unscheduled Cuban stops). One of the busiest terminals in the world, it is served by all foreign and domestic lines (96 to be exact). Miami is home base for both Eastern and National Airlines.

Sixteen million visitors flock to Florida each year, producing a $4,000,000,000 tourist economy. Seeking relief from wintertime’s grayness, most head for Miami sunshine.


Scene 2

Biscayne Boulevard

View-Master Miami and Miami Beach (A963), Scene 2: Biscayne Blvd

Biscayne Blvd.—flanked by smart shops and stores


From the 16-page booklet:


Although tourism is still king, it is no longer Miami’s only industry. The “sun and fun capital” is, also, international headquarters for 3M Company, Dow Chemical, Eastman Kodak, Owens-Corning, and Pan American World Airways. And 3.500 small manufacturing firms supply goods to nearly all the countries of Central and South America.

Smart shops and stores flank the palm-lined walks of Biscayne Boulevard in this view of Miami’s “main street.”


Scene 11

University of Miami

View-Master Miami and Miami Beach (A963), Scene 11: University of Miami

University of Miami


From the 16-page booklet:


Miami’s exciting “Hurricanes” are a wide-open, high-scoring football team. Familiar to TV-watching dads and boys across the USA, Miami gets a straight “A” report card in living rooms everywhere, and packs the Orange Bowl with people Saturday nights.

But a relatively few know the University beyond its 11-man football teams. Miami U. is a non-sectarian, independent, co-educational school located in Coral Gables. It has an enrollment of 15,000 in schools of business administration, education, law, engineering, and medicine. Miami’s Marine Sciences Institute has been labeled one of the best in the world. There is no more appropriate place for that particular study. Coral Reef, recently made a National Park, is second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef on the eat coast of Australia. The Reef is just off the Keys. Everglades National Park, one and a half million acres of wilderness, is within shouting distance of the campus.


Scene 12

Coral Gables Canal Homes

View-Master Miami and Miami Beach (A963), Scene 12: Luxury plus homes line Coral Gables Canal

Luxury plus homes line Coral Gables Canal


From the 16-page booklet:


The travel brochures call Coral Gables “Florida’s Showcase Community”—and it is that! Surprisingly, the “City” six miles southwest of the “village” of Miami started out to be a New Venice. Canals were blasted in the hard coral rock. George Merrick, whose brainchild the city is, liked to boast he had used more dynamite in building Coral Gables than in any other U.S. construction project, except the Panama Canal! A New Venice it almost was. A typical loud and carnival-type real estate development it almost was.

But it is not. The Coral Gables building code is strict. No home (nor building) may be erected without approval of the city’s Board of Architects. Construction must harmonize. The Gables is a city secure in its wealth and social prestige. And, after all, coral makes a better foundation than swamps or sand.


Scene 13

Venetian Pool, Coral Gables

View-Master Miami and Miami Beach (A963), Scene 13: Venetian Swimming Pool in Coral Gables

Venetian Swimming Pool in Coral Gables


From the 16-page booklet:


Coral Gables is not a tourist attraction, but rather an example of splendid city planning. Every street was planned and plotted before a lick of work was done. There are no billboards, no cemeteries, no trailer parks, and no industries, save those which are clean and smokeless.

The Venetian Pool, shown here, is known as “the world’s most beautiful swimming hole.”


Scene 14

Hialeah Park

View-Master Miami and Miami Beach (A963), Scene 14: Statue of Citation, Campion Race Horse, at Hialeah Park

Champion race horse, Citation, stands in Hialeah Park


From the 16-page booklet:


The 400 pink flamingos nesting on the infield lake are free to leave this elaborate racing plant anytime, but nowhere else can they depend on a daily supply of shrimp.

Miami enjoys two other sports (in addition to Hialeah’s horse racing) not often seen in other parts of the country: Dog racing and jai-alai. The latter is a game originated by the Basques 200 years ago. A jai-alai “fronton,” located here, is the only major court in America.


Scene 17

Aerial—Miami Beach Hotels

View-Master Miami and Miami Beach (A963), Scene 17: Miami Beach Hotels

Plush hotels of Miami Beach host two million annually


From the 16-page booklet:


Miami Beach is “something else!” A permanent population of 65,000, and 2 million tourists a year, crowd the seven square miles of the island city. One-fourth of all the hotels in Florida are situated on this slender strip of sun and sand. Miami Beach built more new hotels following World War 2 than all the rest of the world combined. There are now 370 of them—with 31,000 rooms.

It was not always glitter and gold on Indian Creek (shown in this view). John Collins’ farm crop flopped, and he sold 1600 acres of his land to Carl Fisher. Most of it was under water. But that did not stop Fisher, a man who had built Indianapolis Speedway and made a fortune in auto headlights. He used sand, pumped from the bay-bottom, to create neat little island, and the Roaring Twenties real estate “boom” was on. At one time, Fisher’s holdings here were estimated at $100 million. When he died in 1939, his estate had dwindled to $40,000.


Scene 19

Miami Beach from Collins Ave.

View-Master Miami and Miami Beach (A963), Scene 19: Resort hotels line Collins Avenue for 100 blocks, Miami Beach

Resort hotels line Collins Avenue for 100 blocks, Miami Beach


From the 16-page booklet:


Collins Avenue is Miami Beach for about 100 blocks, and one may wonder where the ocean went. Resort hotels, piled one upon another, crowd out the view.

Hotel rooms, sand, and water in themselves do not make a vacation. In reality, there are no “dead” times here. The “joint is always jumping.” Big names of the entertainment world headline dinner shows. The tab for two may run over $100, and lodging for the night can add another fifty. TV shows in the Miami Beach Auditorium are free.

The Beach is one of a handful of genuine convention centers in the U.S.A. Mammoth Convention Hall, next-door neighbor to the Auditorium, has been the site of relaxed, political conventions.

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