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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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All You Can Eat: 1894

All You Can Eat: 1894

Palm Beach, 1894. "Dining room, Hotel Royal Poinciana." At the time, Henry Flagler's giant hotel was the largest building in Florida. 8x10 inch glass negative by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

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Jewel Encrusted Dining

Harper’s Weekly, January 24, 1903.

A Show Resort in the South

… The Royal Poinciana at night is the centre of the show. Evening dress is de rigueur for dinner. There is immense wealth (if not always refinement) shown in the costumes and jewels of the women at dinner, and when it is borne in mind that over a thousand people easily can be seated in the Poinciana dining-room, the brilliancy of the scene can be imagined. Palm Beach is a show-place in more senses than one. After dinner the display continues in the parlors and on the broad verandas. Some women, whose bank accounts are more flourishing than their family trees, literally seem to stagger under the weight of their jewels. …

2,000 guests

Could be accommodated at this hotel. It was the largest wooden structure in the world before being razed during the Depression.

Very nice.

Imagine going there for a great meal, then smoking a Havana cigar after the repast.

What a beautiful sight

Those rooms must have been in the evening with those gas chandeliers glowing!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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