This scene from the 1940s-50s shows a common sight on streets in Florida; the ice company's trucks making their rounds delivering huge blocks of ice to homes and businesses. Before air conditioning and efficient refrigeration, Floridians depended on ice to keep food and beverages cold and fresh. Florida's fishing industry absolutely depended on ice to keep their catch fresh long enough to get it to a restaurant or ship it out of town or state.(Ice companies were a very profitable business and to visit one and feel the cold air behind the giant plastic curtains on a sweltering day was heaven, a quick trip to Alaska.) Early Frigidaires - which is all my mom and grandmother ever called their "ice boxes," used motors and fans to blow the room's hot air into and past the ice blocks and circulated it down and around food stored in the "ice box." It worked pretty well, but you still looked forward to visiting the big movie theaters, cafeterias such as Morrison's and some fancy department store like Maas Brothers for real air conditioning. Heck, I can remember going to one drive-in theater that offered air conditioning that attached to your car window along with the speaker. Pretty cool, eh? Most cars did not have A/C so that and buttery popcorn were the big draws...oh, and your steady girl to share the experience with.
This mural is another portion of one I posted yesterday of West Tampa's Main Street. The West Tampa Revitalization Corporation commissioned the mural in 1984. It is BIG. It covers two entire exterior walls of the recreation building at the Rey Park Center and Playground on North Howard Avenue.