Historic Capitol Hosts Treasuring Paradise: Florida Souvenirs Road Show Featuring Major Collectors of Antique Memorabilia
Tallahassee, FL, October 14, 2011 -- The Florida Historic Capitol Museum invites you to join us for this FREE day of family fun!
Wondering about that old Florida souvenir that you found in Grandma’s attic? Stop by the Florida Historic Capitol Museum on Saturday, October 22nd, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and have it valued, while viewing historic souvenir collections on display by collectors from around the state.
You will get a glimpse of the Sunshine State of the past as you view tourists’ keepsakes, Florida-themed memorabilia and souvenirs. This event brings souvenir collectors to the Historic Capitol for a special one-day exhibition of their rare collections. These unique collectibles, souvenirs and ephemera are representative of the distinctive culture, rich history and extraordinary landscapes of the state of Florida. Antique collections on display include rare souvenirs from the late 1800’s representing the beginning of the souvenir industry as well as pre-Disney era memorabilia from early Florida roadside attractions.
Floridiana, which is material such as documents, anecdotes, or artifacts distinctively bearing on or characteristic of Florida or its people or culture, has been a fascination of travelers beginning with the developing years of tourism. According to Larry Roberts, author of Florida’s Golden Age of Souvenirs, 1890-1930, “the souvenir industry is directly tied to the state’s settlement and the first great influx of tourists in the 1890’s.”
Robert’s book, which is published by the University Press of Florida and will be available for purchase, describes how the golden age of the souvenir industry catered to the affluent tourists who purchased silver objects, hand-painted china, and carved ivory and bone items often portraying glimpses of a wild and untamed Florida. These early travel treasures were created by artists, and of particular interest were intricate wood carvings depicting alligators and fashioned into canes, corkscrews and various objet d’art.
Treasuring Paradise will feature 6 collectors. John Cheek of Hollywood, Florida, will display rare, early collectibles including a significant number of carved ivory and horn alligator canes and orangewood pipes. His collection also contains etched glass tumblers which were on display in the 1888 “Florida Sub Tropical Exposition” hosted in Jacksonville to promote Florida industry and showcase the state’s assets as a tourist destination.
Ken Breslauer, of St. Petersburg, has been collecting Florida tourist attraction souvenirs for over 30 years and has over 7,000 items. His primary focus concentrates on souvenirs dating from 1930-1970 representing historic attractions such as Silver Springs, Cypress Gardens, Weeki Wachee Spring, Marineland of Florida, Bok Tower and Parrot Jungle. When asked what inspires him to collect Floridiana, Breslauer says “for me, a souvenir is a memory that takes me back to a special place. I grew up in Florida and have a strong memory of the old mom and pop roadside attractions, many places that no longer exist.” Breslauer is the author of the book Roadside Paradise, the Golden Age of Florida Tourist Attractions 1929-71, and has another book on souvenirs due out in March, 2012.
Collectors John Pinkerton, of Orlando, Tom Staley of Micanopy, Rick Reeves of Tampa, and Dr. Alfred Frankel of St. Petersburg will also be featured during the Souvenirs Road Show. Paul Barattini and Malcolm Mason, of Manor Auctions, will be on hand to identify and value your travel treasures.
Treasuring Paradise: Florida Souvenirs Road Show takes place at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum located at 400 South Monroe Street in beautiful downtown Tallahassee, Florida. For further information,
visit us at www.flhistoriccapitol.gov, or call (850) 4887-1902.
Treasuring Paradise: Florida Souvenirs Road Show
Florida Historic Capitol Museum
400 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
Date & Time:
Saturday, October 22, 2011
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Alma P. Hubbard, Director of External Relations
Florida Historic Capitol Museum