Tomato Festival, Dania, Florida 1953
Railroad cars full of fresh tomatoes once were transported daily to northern cities during the winter harvest in Dania, Florida.
Dania (now called Dania Beach) was incorporated as a town in 1904 and had 35 residents – mostly Danish immigrants.
By 1910 the number of townspeople had swelled to 1,000 and Dania began calling itself the ‘Tomato Capital of the World.’
Acres of land were given over to tomatoes and the town had 14 packing houses, two canning factories and a tomato paste producer. About 200 farmers produced the crop.
There was also an annual Tomato Festival, which is where this charming image comes from.
The first festival was held in 1927 and there were messy tomato fights, a Miss Tomato Festival beauty pageant and fairground rides.
The Tomato Festival continued until the late 1950s – this image is dated 1953 - and was held under the auspices of Dania Chamber of Commerce.
By the mid-50s, however, saltwater intrusion into tomato farms had drastically reduced winter harvests and the tomato boom was over.
All printed in USA.