Aviation lore & more at St. Petersburg Museum of History

In Florida, the St. Petersburg Museum of History displays a replica of the Benoist XIV airboat used for the first scheduled airline service, which operated nearby.

On January 1, 1914, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line began flying across Tampa Bay.

The flight covered 18 miles and 23 minutes. That journey was 11 hours faster than making the trip between St. Petersburg and Tampa by rail.

(Courtesy Smithsonian Institution)

That plane is just one of the treasures we spotted at the museum when we visited. The museum is home to the largest collection of signed baseballs: 5,036 and still growing; a great exhibit about the artists known as the “Florida Highwaymen,” a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy, artifacts from Webb’s City – a local roadside attraction – and much more.

The 1940s calling Miami Int’l Airport


A wonderful exhibition of 20 kitschy black & white underwater prints from the 1940s and 1950s is on view at Miami International Airport (MIA) by Gate D31.

The images are by photographer Bruce Mozert, whose keen eye and whimsical photos helped document and promote Florida’s tourist destinations, especially Silver Springs, an aquatic attraction with glass bottom boats.


Here are some notes from exhibition flyer:

“Silver Springs, tucked away in the middle of Florida, has drawn teams of visitors to its crystal clear waters since pre-Civil War days and saw a surge in popularity in the 1940s, largely due to Mozert’s publicity photographs. A renowned innovator in underwater photography, Mozert’s vivid images of beautiful models in Florida’s pristine waters were sent out on wire services from the 1940s through the 1970s, attracting snowbirds and tourists in droves.”

mia hook

The attraction is now Silver Springs State Park and the glass bottom boats are still there. You probably won’t see beautiful girls talking on underwater telephones, but the park promises that you’ll see unusual formations, ancient artifacts and movie props from some early underwater films made for Hollywood.