Monday, February 24, 2014

Fort Lauderdale gets "cosmopolitan" with ice plant - 1911

In 1911 the state of Florida  approved the charter of the Town of Fort Lauderdale. It was also the year of its first utility, the Fort Lauderdale Ice and Light Company. One of the town’s founders, Tom Bryan, proposed the formation of the company as a way to provide ice for railroad cars of vegetables bound for the north. Electricity would power machinery to make the ice and additional power would go to consumer use. Few houses were wired for electricity but it was a start. The story below amusingly refers to a "cosmopolitan air" as one benefit of the project.

The Miami News (March 20, 1911 edition)
“Watch us grow.” This is the slogan at Fort Lauderdale and Progresso. This section is to have an up-to-date ten ton ice plant at once … in a very few weeks the residents here will have these modern improvements, which together with the other many evidences of progress will lend to this flourishing town a cosmopolitan air not heretofore anticipated by even the most optimistic promoter.

It was just the beginning of Fort Lauderdale's "cosmopolitan" image; telephone service was to make it debut in 1914. Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.
Other sources:

Gillis, Susan. Fort Lauderdale: The Venice of America. Charleston: Arcadia (2004).
Weidling, Philip J. and Burghard, August. Checkered Sunshine. Gainesville: University of Florida Press (1966).

Tags: Florida history, Fort Lauderdale Centennial, Fort Lauderdale history, Fort Lauderdale

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