Nostalgic images from Old Florida holidays, thanks to a master photographer

Take a break. Stop rushing around and re-visit the holidays in Florida in the ‘50s.

It’s hard to imagine the world then – Florida before Disney; life before the Internet. But the photos of a Sarasota photographer, Joseph Janney Steinmetz, can help transport you.

The images on this page are photos by Steinmetz that his family donated recently to the Florida Memory Project, which has more than 180,000 digitized photographs from the State Library and Archives of Florida.

Steinmetz moved his family from Philadelphia to Sarasota in 1942 and he photographed life there until his death in 1985, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

His collection is “without question the most significant photographic collection we’ve obtained,” Archives Supervisor Joanna Norman told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “The guy was a master photographer.”

Steinmetz’ work appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Time, Holiday, Collier’s and Town and Country, plus he did work for the Ringling Circus in Sarasota and state’s tourism office.

Photo by Joseph Steinmetz via Florida Memory Project
Photo by Joseph Steinmetz via Florida Memory Project
Photo by Joseph Steinmetz via Florida Memory Project
Photo by Joseph Steinmetz via Florida Memory Project
Photo by Joseph Steinmetz via Florida Memory Project
Photo by Joseph Steinmetz via Florida Memory Project
Photo by Joseph Steinmetz via Florida Memory Project
Photo by Joseph Steinmetz via Florida Memory Project;

And if you start exploring to the Florida Memory Project, you can kiss your afternoon good-bye!

 

Before the days of Photoshop, such a picture could only be made by a darkroom whiz. Photo by Joseph Steinmetz via Florida Memory Project
Before the days of Photoshop, such a picture could only be made by a darkroom whiz. Photo by Joseph Steinmetz via Florida Memory Project
Steinmetz family Christmas card for 1950. (Florida Memory Project)
Steinmetz family Christmas card for 1950. (Florida Memory Project)