Billboard for the Sale of Subdivision Real Estate Lots


The draining of swamp lands, continued penetration of rail lines, and expansion of highways all paved the way for the Great Florida Land Boom of the mid-1920s. This image, taken a few years before the speculative rush reached its peak, shows the promotion of Florida as both a paradise for residents and a cash engine for potential investors. Cities such as Miami and St. Petersburg grew tenfold in population in less than two decades as the amount of money being invested in home construction and hotel development began to soar into the tens of millions of dollars. In 1924, Florida amended its constitution to prohibit taxes on income and inheritance, thereby providing further incentives for wealthy investors and entrepreneurs to look toward the state. Inflated land values and rampant issuing of ill-advised loans led to a speculative bubble that burst in 1925. The collapse of the Florida Land Boom was one of a series of portentous events that heralded the onset of the Great Depression in 1929.

Last updated: October 22, 2014