Miami Beach's History Through Vintage Postcards

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By: Seth H. Bramson

Take a walk down memory lane with Seth H. Bramson, the official City Historian for the City of Miami Beach. A resident of Miami for 68 years, Mr. Bramson has published a number of books about the history of South Florida. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor of history at Barry University.

Selected from his personal archives, the following vintage postcards remind us of the days gone by.

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Army Air Forces on Washington Avenue

It's World War II and troops of the U.S. Army Air Corps Technical training are marching in formation along Washington Avenue, 1942-1945.

    Five O'Clock Club

    Located on Collins Avenue and 20th Street, the Five o'Clock Club was a favorite nightlife spot for locals. This beautiful interior view is from the later 1930s.

      Flamingos at Roney Plaza Hotel

      This postcard was created just before World War II and features the flamingos of the Roney Plaza Hotel.

        Brunette Pin-Up Girl

        Referred to at the time as "cheesecakes," this photo of a pin-up girl was taken circa 1928.

          Latin Quarter Nightclub

          Lou Walters, owner of the fabled Latin Quarter in New York, opened this club of the same name on Palm Island. Successful for several years, it closed in the early 1950s.

            Military Zone on Collins Avenue

            Marching north on Collins Avenue during World War II, the US Army Air Corps troops trained on the streets of Miami Beach every day.

              Gondolas on Miami Beach

              Carl Fisher brought gondolas to Miami Beach to carry out the theme of the Venetian Causeway. In this postcard circa 1929, passengers are enjoying the bayside view of the Nautilus Hotel (converted to Mount Sinai Hospital following World War II).

                Rosie the Elephant

                Carl Fisher owned three elephants, including the one shown here. Named Rosie, Fisher purchased her from a traveling circus in Georgia to help with construction and serve as a good will ambassador in the community.

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