The Showalter Motorette Company
Above: The Showalter Motorette Company at 671 Orange Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. The Showalter Motorette Company started by J. S. Showalter and his business partner, Ford Rogers, opened for business on November 28, 1945.  The three wheeled motor ... Read more
Margaret Ekdahl - "Miss America 1930"
Margaret Ekdahl - Florida's first "Miss America" While there has been much controversy surrounding her title, there was no doubt about the beauty of Margaret Ekdahl. Born in Sweden in 1912, Margaret and her family arrived in Orlando in 1926. Known as "M ... Read more
My Entrance Into the Orlando Jewish Community
We would meet on Orange Avenue with our swimsuits and go to Palm Beach where the shops closed at 5:30. "I really felt like I was on vacation even though I was working."  From the Lerner Shop on Orange Avenue to the shores of Palm Beach, centenarian Myrtl ... Read more
After the War
When Michael Monell and his wife came to Orlando in 1955, they bought their first house out in the country, what is today known as Fashion Square Mall area. Mike recalls asking his wife, "Don't you think it is too far from Orlando? Look how far we'd be fr ... Read more
Oral History Interview with Sonar Physicist Vincent Benedetti
Sonar Physicist Vincent Benedetti worked at the naval research lab at the corner of Gatlin and Summerlin Avenue for 35 years. He was the first person in Orlando to own scuba equipment having received his training from the U.S. Navy Seals in Key West in th ... Read more
The Retail Outlook From Centenarian Myrtle Skop Rutberg
The Retail Outlook from Centenarian Myrtle Skop Rutberg Myrtle Skop Rutberg remembers when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed Thanksgiving Day to allow an extra week of shopping before Christmas. She also recalls diagonal parking along Orange Av ... Read more
A Blessing for Downtown and Saint James Cathedral
ABOVE: 1984 Christmas photo of coffee and donuts in the atrium of the Cathedral Center after Mass at Saint James Cathedral in downtown Orlando. Photo courtesy of the Mario Mesa Photo Archives. The atrium of Saint James Cathedral is alive with children an ... Read more
A Pearl Harbor Volunteer Remembers
ABOVE: Arline Conoley Benedetti and veteran Vincent Benedetti. Pearl Harbor Volunteer Vincent Benedetti recalls coming to Orlando from Banana River Naval Air Station as a sailor on liberty during WWII.  10,000 soldiers were in Orlando at the time. Fourt ... Read more
Orlando Street Railway Car Model
From Pocket History of Orlando Florida. Orlando Centennial 1875-1975. Orlando Street Railway circa 1900. In the year 1886 a street railway franchise was granted to J. M. Saunders and others. The franchise was signed for the city by F. S. Chapman ... Read more
Mack Meiner
Mack Meiner's Real Pit Bar-B-Q ABOVE: Postcard Meiner's Pit Bar B Que on Colonial Drive in Orlando. Restaurant Business Was In His Blood The keys to Mack Meiner's success were an eye for business opportunities and a secret family barbecue recipe. A resta ... Read more