The Florida East Coast Hotel System is a 28-page advertisement pamphlet promoting tourism and hotels along Florida’s Atlantic coastline. The pamphlet was issued in a number of different editions and versions, all of which are scarce. Among the unique hotels included in our particular edition of the pamphlet is the Palm Beach Inn. It is the only hotel depicted as a drawing, a feature that may suggest this hotel still was under construction when our pamphlet was issued.
Alongside the photos and drawings of the different grand hotels, readers find descriptions of their amenities and services. In addition to the world-famous beaches of Florida, these include Turkish and Russian baths, cactus gardens, swimming pools, casinos, tennis courts, bowling alleys, bicycle riding academies, pineapple plantations, and entertainment halls.
This particular edition of the pamphlet is equipped with a double-page map entitled “Map of Florida and the East Indies Published by the Florida East Coast Railway,” measuring 20.5 by 10.5 cm (8 x 4¼”). The map bears the imprint of The Matthews Northrup Co. (Buffalo, NY) and was, as indicated in the title, based on survey work commissioned by the Florida East Coast Railroad.
Ultimately, this is a piece of ephemera from the beginnings of Florida’s tourism industry, an evocative reminder of a luxurious age in the history of travel.
OCLC lists some versions with different dates, number of pages, and hotels listed, with all being scarce, but there are no listings for this 28-page version ending with the Palm Beach Inn in the title.