National Geographic : 1930 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE to meet and compete among 75,000,000 potential customers with fruit from the West. How to put a 5-cent orange quickly into the hands of every man, woman, and child who has a nickel and wants an orange is the big market problem that the American orange grower has to solve every season. Faced with steady increase in output as additional young trees come into bearing, Florida growers turn now more and more to cooperatives, exchanges, and group ef fort-the State's really great problem that requires a superbrain to solve. Higher standards of grading and packing, prorat ing of sales and increasing consumer-de mand through nation-wide advertising are among the aspects of the cooperative movement. A NETWORK OF RAILS AND HIGHWAYS It is like riding a bicycle across the Atlantic to go to Key West by rail across the famous Keys. Far below, one sees fisher boats and, perhaps out to sea, the black smoke plume of a battleship or a liner South America bound. As the loco motive moves over the long arches that leap from key to key, you get a vivid idea of the hard, dangerous work it took to sink those giant piers in that rushing tide and throw those tremendous spans across deep arms of the sea. One viaduct, the longest, exceeds seven miles. Down over this seagoing railway tens of thousands pass every season en route to Havana. It was the bold pioneering of imagina tive railway builders, as when the Plant System pushed down to Tampa and the genius of Flagler drove the spectacular East Coast line down to Key West, that really opened up an uninhabited Florida to settlement. A crisscross of railways cov ers it now, and its 8,ooo or more miles of good motor highways and more than I,ooo miles of inland waterways provide a sys tem of communications unsurpassed any where. By using ferries, one may now motor all the way to Key West, and then ship one's car to Cuba. Nor is Florida a laggard in the vision of air transportation, for the State boasts 34 airports in its cities and towns. As early as 1914-15 there was operated a flying ferry from St. Petersburg to Tampa. The United States mail flies every day from Atlanta, Georgia, to Miami, a daily passenger service links Miami to Havana, and from Miami to Nassau mechanical eagles fly triweekly. Miami is destined to be a great aerial depot for South Amer ican service that will surprise the Nation. A COAST-TO-COAST HIGHWAY Man's daring and genius in throwing an arrow-straight highway across the Ever glades challenge imagination. The Tami ami Trail it was christened, a combination of the names Miami and Tampa, at either end. The commercial importance of such a giant causeway from the Atlantic to the Gulf is obvious; but few can visualize the Herculean task of building it. Often sur veyors worked waist-deep in water; so did those who cleared the path of jungle growth. Then came the drillers, boring foot by foot down into the hard rock that lies like a stone-paved prairie below the watery surface of the Everglades. For 91 miles this path had to be drilled and blasted ! The amount of dynamite used was pro digious. Oxen, four to a cart, hauled the explosive in; but often rough spots were met, or deep water where oxen could not go. Then men shouldered the boxes of dynamite and floundered with them neck deep in water and tangled vegetation. Following the dynamiters came the giant dredges, throwing up piles of rock from the canal which the dredge itself dug. Then other dredges and steam shovels, leveling the big heaps of rock, till a good road was made and top-dressed. Here now is a rock road laid on a rock founda tion, a highway that should, with a little intelligent upkeep, endure for thousands of years. Riding over it now, you see thousands of birds resting or fishing. In the long, straight canal which parallels it myriads of small fish feed or play. Loitering tour ists spear them and wild ducks chase them. One Chicago hunter, coming to shoot ducks, actually brought live decoys with him. Fixing a blind, he tied his decoys out and got ready to shoot. Then. to his dismay, his decoys began to "dive," one after another, and rose no more. 'Gators got 'em!