Think about the year 1942. It was a time of great uncertainty as the United States had just entered World War II. American car factories switched from commercial to war production, a black baseball player named Jackie Robinson was allowed to workout with the Chicago White Sox, and Walt Disney released his animated movie Bambi to the masses.
So what was Florida like in 1942?
We get a better idea from these vintage 16mm films uploaded to Youtube by Rick Helin, better known to YouTube users as KailuaKid. Rick’s hobby is preserving history through the use of vintage films. His YouTube channel contains dozens of retro clips that have been digitally remastered in high definition by the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County.
A few years ago, he uploaded these films of Florida that were captured in 1942. These historic gems were discovered at a garage sale in San Jose by Tim Peddy. The films document the photographer’s journey from the Panhandle to South Florida and provide a rare glimpse into the Sunshine State of 1942.
Highlights include: popular spots in St. Augustine, the “famous packed sand racing beach” of Daytona, sites in Palm Beach County, the “marvelous beauty spot” Cypress Gardens, and the hustle and bustle of Tampa.
It’s amazing to see how much these places have changed over the years, but how Florida’s natural beauty still remains. To this day, nothing is known about the person behind the camera.