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October 24, 2014

Wonderful Color Photos of Daily Life in Florida in the 1940s

Joseph Janney Steinmetz was an American commercial photographer whose images appeared in publications including the Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Time, Holiday, Collier's, and Town & Country. He documented scenes of American life including the wealthy and middle-class Americans, including Floridians.

After moving to Sarasota, Florida in 1941, Steinmetz's work appeared in numerous nationally distributed magazines. He fell in love with the circus which wintered there and photographed the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for 20 years. For one of his most memorable assignments, Steinmetz traveled with the circus and produced iconic images of the performers' life on the road including the famous clown Emmett Kelly. He also worked on various assignments from the Florida Development Commission which sent him around the state to make photos promoting tourism. Later he collaborated with his wife Lois, and the couple became noted photo journalists specializing in destination coverage of Florida and the Caribbean.

Members of the Three-Quarter Century Softball Club: St. Petersburg, Florida, ca. 1947.

St. Augustine Cathedral, ca. 1945.

Sponge diver John Gonatos: Tarpon Springs, Florida, ca. 1945.

Handing out copies of The Evening Independent: St. Petersburg, Florida, March 19, 1947.

Ringling Circus clowns: Sarasota, Florida, March 21, 1947.

Egg cracking tradition: Tarpon Springs, Florida, April 13, 1947.

Lazaros Coffee Shop: Tarpon Springs, Florida, April 13, 1947.

Model with a basket of flowers: Sarasota, Florida, ca. 1945.

John M. Gonatos in his curio shop with assistant Niki Vasilikis: Tarpon Springs, Florida, 1942.

Maria Pappas serving the "perfect Greek luncheon": Tarpon Springs, Florida, June 27, 1947.

Seminole mother and children: Brighton Reservation, Florida, 1949.

Seminole family selling patchwork clothing near the Brighton Reservation, January 27, 1948.

Seminole cattleman Charlie Micco, Brighton Reservation, 1949.

Indoor croquet: Sarasota, Florida, 1940s.

Lois Duncan Steinmetz playing the accordian aboard the shantyboat Lazy Bones, ca. 1947.

New Year's Eve party aboard the shantyboat Lazy Bones, December 31, 1947.

Young women reading aboard the shantyboat Lazy Bones, December 1947.

Everglades Lounge at the Clewiston Inn: Clewiston, Florida, January 1948.

Trimming and Sorting Sponges: Tarpon Springs, Florida, ca. 1942.

Greek sponge boats on ways: Tarpon Springs, Florida, 1942.

Laurence A. Kavanaugh at the Ringling Art School: Sarasota, Florida, May 21, 1947.

Jerry Farnsworth painting a portrait of Mrs. Ben Stahl: Sarasota, Florida, 1947.

H.G Champlin at the L&N Freight Depot: Pensacola, Florida, ca. 1945.

National Container Corporation Mill: Jacksonville, Florida, ca. 1945.

Future Farmers of America packing tomatoes: Palmetto, Florida, May 21, 1947.

Future Farmers of America packing tomatoes: Palmetto, Florida, May 21, 1947.

Unidentified Seminole children: Brighton Reservation, Florida, ca. 1948.

William Boehmer teaching Seminole children at the government school: Brighton Reservation, Florida, ca. 1948.

William Boehmer teaching Seminole children at the government school: Brighton Reservation, Florida, ca. 1948.

Lois Duncan Steinmetz gazing at the Suwannee River, 1949.

Fishing on the Caloosahatchee River, ca. 1947.

Picking camellias, ca. 1945.

Unidentified young woman picking cotton, ca. 1945.

Unidentified Ringling Circus performer: Sarasota, Florida, ca. 1950.

Pilot boat docked near the phosphate elevator: Boca Grande, Florida, 1947.

Men playing chess in St. Petersburg, Florida, July 15, 1947.

Royal Poinciana in bloom in Key West, Florida, ca. 1945.

Royal Poinciana in bloom on Truman Avenue: Key West, Florida, ca. 1945.

Children watching calf branding at the Brighton Reservation, October 19, 1949.

Women cooking during the annual cattle round-up: Big Cypress Reservation, Florida, January 18, 1949.

Children at the government school on the Brighton Reservation. ca. 1948.

Baseball game at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, ca. 1950.

Visitors partaking in the main attraction at the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida, ca. 1945.

Sponge auction in Tarpon Springs, June 27, 1947.

Ringling Circus performers at winter quarters in Sarasota, Florida, ca. 1950.

Ringling Circus performers at winter quarters in Sarasota, Florida, ca. 1950.

Candy Tilton Ulrich painting at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, November 13, 1948.

Terra Ceia Island Farms gladiolus being loaded onto a U.S. Airlines plane at the Sarasota Airport, May 8, 1947.

Unidentified woman holding gladiolus at Terra Ceia Island Farms, Florida, May 8, 1947.

Lt. Joe Steinmetz photographing a camellia bush at NAS Pensacola, ca. 1945.

Pasadena Community drive-in church: St. Petersburg, Florida, ca. 1947.

Sponge diver entering the water near Tarpon Springs, Florida, ca. 1945.

Louis and Michael Pappas preparing Greek salad at Riverside Cafe in Tarpon Springs, Florida, April 12, 1947.

Burquest and Stockbridge Company employees loading celery crates onto trucks near Sarasota, Florida, ca. 1945.

Basket maker Moses Pinder at work in Tarpon Springs, Florida, April 12, 1947.

Young women with members of the Three-Quarter Century Softball Club in St. Petersburg, Florida, ca. 1947.

Unidentified woman in Sarasota reading about winter storms up North, 1940.

(via State Library and Archives of Florida)




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