Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Original Glass Bottom Boat from Silver Springs


 
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One of Florida's oldest attractions is Silver Springs near Ocala. Of course I immediately thought of Jacob at Ocala Daily Photo when I saw this boat! Glass bottom boats were first used at Silver Springs during the 1870's. This boat is one of the earliest surviving examples of its type and is on display at the Museum of Florida History in the R.A. Gray Building in downtown Tallahassee. It was built in 1878 by Hullum Jones. As you can see, it is quite simple and looks nothing like the glass bottom boats used today. Notice the small window in the center for viewing the wonders under the clear waters of the springs. To find out more about Silver Springs and to see a picture of more modern glass bottom boats, go here.

25 comments:

Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

what a lovely unusual old boat

Darla said...

I love it and personally can picture it full of flowers, guess that would bring the value down quite a bit though..

Hilda said...

Blessings on the person who first thought of putting little windows on the bottom of boats. S/he sure has brought a lot of joy to many people!

Love the wood!

Cezar and Léia said...

it's strong to keep many people inside!
Léia :)

Rambling Round said...

That's quite a relic!

B SQUARED said...

It must have been quite the attraction in its' day.

Halcyon said...

I'm glad you explained which part was the "glass bottom", I couldn't figure that out at first.

I'm sure these were very exciting for people in ye olde days. Pretty tame by today's standards though.

hadv said...

Did they use it to watch the crocodiles? Hahaha

Lois said...

Maybe a few alligators, but not too many crocodiles around here!

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

Wow. What a neat looking boat that one is. It looks carved from a single log.

Clytie said...

What a cool old boat! Lots of character. I'm glad it is preserved instead of being left to rot.

Don and Krise said...

That is so interesting. You couldn't fit too many people in that model. The glass bottom boats have come quite a way since this.

Jacob said...

Great shots, Lois! I've seen other early examples of glass bottom boats, but not these...these are really early!

Well done!

I'll probably post a contemporary shot of a glass bottom boat in operation tomorrow or the next day...

Thanks for the linky! Hope your week is going well!

James said...

That is so cool. I had no idea that glass bottom boats went back that far.

Frank said...

Love it!! For any of us who have taken the glass bottom boat ride, this is a far cry from today's craft. Just think how hot it must have been. (How did this escape that wily Jacob...he should have found it first!)

Great find Lois!

Corker2 said...

I, also, had no idea that the Glass Bottom Boats were that old. Have never been to Silver Springs. Seem's like a fun & interesting place to see. Maybe someday. Nice Post looking back into History.

Jacob said...

Hey, Franco! Wait just a minute! "Wily Jacob?"

Hmmm, come to think of it, I kinda like that!

Have a great day!

~Cheryl said...

This is very much like the glass bottom boat we took in Cabo. It truly is a fun way to see underwater without the bother of swimsuits and snorkles! :)

Small City Scenes said...

Wow Lois that is really neat. I had no idea glass bottom boats were from that era. Aren't Museums wonderful. MB

Jarart said...

That is a fantastic find. I'm not sure I would have ever gotten on that little boat though. I'm glad they had the larger ones when my parents took me there as a child. Thanks to Jacob for sending me to your great blog.

JM said...

I have never imagined a glass bottom boat could be this old!...

Lisa Wilson said...

Wow! That's a great piece of history for Florida. I didn't know they had these back then.

Paul said...

Much older idea than I had thought, though I mostly am thinking of Doris Day...

Mark Young said...

Hello Lois,
I'm doing a documentary for Silver Springs State Park and for a high school project. I was in search of a picture of one of the original glass bottom boats when I found this. Would it be okay if I could use one of these pictures for my video?
Thanks,
Mark

Lois said...

Hi Mark,
Yes, I would be happy to have you use either of these pictures for your video. Thank you for asking and I hope your project goes well. If possible, I would love to see it when you are finished. Let me know. Thanks again,
Lois