Ted Hunt

Florida Once Upon a Time… Prohibition, Rum-Runners and Shady Characters

Words by Ted Hunt   The 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibiting the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors was ratified in 1919 and went into effect in January of 1920. The often-called Prohibition Amendment, aimed at curbing alcohol consumption, forced the closing of hundreds of breweries and put an end to thousands of saloons across the nation. However, it had the unintended consequence of fueling a thriving, and illegal underground industry.     Despite the law, millions of Americans chose to drink anyway, so the demand for booze had to be satisfied through illegal means. There was …

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Florida Once Upon a Time…

Stogie-Cigar Capital of the World Words by Ted Hunt   In the land of sunshine, oranges, tourism, retirees, alligators and pythons, there exists a rich tradition that goes far beyond the theme parks and countless rows of condominiums. Florida’s cigar industry, often overshadowed by more prominent industries and attractions, has quietly thrived, and the tradition of cigar making holds a significant place in the state’s history, culture and economy. So grab a stogie and let’s embark on a journey through the fascinating history of Florida’s cigar industry where hand rolling cigars is more than just a craft, it’s practically a …

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Tapping into Nature’s Liquid Gold

By Ted Hunt Florida is renowned for its picturesque beaches, tropical climate, theme parks and citrus industry. However, beneath this vacation paradise lies a lesser-known historical treasure — the early turpentine industry. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Florida played a major role in this booming industry, tapping into the liquid gold of its vast pine forests. The foundation of Florida’s turpentine industry lay in the abundant Longleaf Pine forests that covered much of the state. These majestic trees stood as tall sentinels, their trunks harboring a valuable resource known as gum resin/sap or crude turpentine. Turpentine was a …

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The Navy’s Mothball Fleet at Green Cove Springs

By Ted Hunt   In 1940, WWII raged in Europe. Here in the states, President Franklin Roosevelt believed that the United States’ best chance to stay out of the war was to help the Allies. Training Allied troops and sending American tanks, ships and planes to Europe, hopefully, would prevent the need to send American soldiers. As the threat of war increased, the United States took steps to prepare. In 1940, Congress and President Roosevelt approved the first-ever peacetime draft. Men between the ages of 21 and 45 had to register for military service. Also, the Navy began building naval …

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Pencils from Florida’s Cedar Trees

Pencils from Florida’s Cedar Trees By Ted Hunt It’s the end of summer and school is starting in a couple of weeks, and finally, the little ones will be out of the house. But first the school supplies — crayons, glue, folders, a new lunch box and most importantly, those pencils.   The pencil is a simple instrument the creates marks that adheres to a sheet of paper. It has a core of graphite surrounded by two wooden halves glued together, usually with an eraser on one end. Contrary to a common misconception, lead has never been used in pencils. …

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