Now on Display:

100-Year Old Mechanical Wonders
One hundred years ago mechanical wonders were being introduced into American homes and businesses at a rapid rate. Many of these wonders are on display at the Florida Pioneer Museum in Florida City.

A new display this year features typewriters from their earliest years until the 1940s. Terry Naumann and Karon Grunwell Buckley have teamed to research the history of the Museum’s typewriter collection. In the early days there was no standard keyboard so many of the earliest models were unique in their keyboards and in the way in which the keys struck the paper. On some models the typist could not see what he or she had typed – they literally typed in the blind.

A typewriter sold by Sears was manufactured in England. A Smith Premier had seven levels of keys as opposed to the five of our current standard keyboard. An Oliver used hexagonal keys with two different unrelated values for each key.

One machine is a veteran of WWII having served the Army Signal Corps – probably at a South Florida base before being given to the Homestead Post Office. The earliest electric typewriter in the collection is an Underwood Model 12 from 1947-48.

The smallest and lightest models are two aluminum machines made for the use of newspaper reporters. They are tiny by comparison, their roller mechanisms fold back onto the keyboards so they would fit into a briefcase-sized carrying case. Just like in the movies the reporters on deadline probably used the “hunt and peck” method.

Quilt Show a Success!
We had 150 visitors over the two day event. There were 11 modern and vintage quilts and 14 antique quilts on display. Attendees enjoyed the lecture on the antique quilts from private collections as well as the Museums’ collection which was given by Rosa Brito at 1:00 p.m. on each day.

A few of the quilts:




The winner of the Saturday Peoples Choice award was the quilt “Rainbow”, crafted by Florence Harriett Lowe Morris. The winner of the Sunday Peoples Choice award was “Sisters”, crafted by Rosa Brito. The overall Peoples Choice Show Ribbon was won by Florence Harriet Lowe Morris for her quilt, “Rainbow.”


Florence Harriett Lowe Morris                                                                                                     Rosa Brito

Visitors were able to connect to the past with the telegraph display, presented by members of the Samuel Morse Club of Florida set up a working key and sounder which was connected to a lap top. They communicated with other club members via the Internet in Pennsylvania using Morse code.

The Ladies had a table with displaying fashionable hats of the 1860s and antique dress patterns. Also on display were buttons made of glass, shell and bone. Hand painted china and jewelry were available for purchase.

Several antique sewing machines were displayed. The oldest was a circa 1860 hand crank, Willcox & Gibbs model. This machine was in working condition. Other machines included cabinet model treadle machines and early electric models. These were from private collections and from the Museums’ collection.

Local author and lecturer, Charlie Hudson was on hand with her latest releases.

The main museum was open both days and all Quilt Show attendees were invited to visit the museum.

The Florida Pioneer Museum would like to thank everyone who made this event a success, especially the following:

The City of Florida City – for the use of the Depot

CRA Director, Rick Stauts – City Liaison

Doug La Rue & Blaine Vernicek of radio station WKLG for providing and setting up and taking down the racks & equipment.

AMS & Lance Scott – lawn maintenance, signage & lunch

John, Cathy & Robert Feeney – Telegraph & Ladies table

Rosa Brito – Lectures & guidance, set up & take down

Lisa Harroitt – Cashier

Charlie Hudson – Great reading materials

Brian & Christopher of BSA Troop 314 – Set up, take down, traffic control

Terry Naumann, Bob Jensen, Meda Jensen, Jeff Blakley, M.C. Bardsley, Barbara Millenbruch, Barbara Hanck and Judy Cooper – for manning the museum

George Grunwell – for helping out all three days even though his wife was in the hospital

Buck Buckley – for moving equipment, lunch, being a go-fer and putting up with the Event Coordinator.