1950s Era Silver Springs Florida Ross Allen's Reptile Institute brochure Vintage

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Seller: yummer11 (1,649) 100%, Location: Wyckoff, New Jersey, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 124084163823 Description Check it out..Here's a very uncommon 4" wide by 9" tall foldout brochure from the circa-1950s Era reptile zoo / attraction and live animal show in Silver Springs, Florida operated and named after E. Ross Allen -Brochure has a real photo image of a rattle snake titled: "See Florida's Silver Springs and Ross Allen's Reptile Institute. Entertaining. Educational. Scientific. Open Every Day. Bring Your Camera..." and folds open to reveal a great map of the park with photos of landmarks, animals & scenery with tons of info inside including items for sale like canned Rattlesnake (to eat!), and E. Ross Allen's line of goods like snake venom, snake oil leather dressing, and more- Has an open-ended date of 195 inside so that helps date it- Great vintage item in very fine condition! How many of these throwaway items survived? Here is some history on the park: E. Ross Allen was a genuine Florida character. Born in 1908 in Pittsburgh, Pa., Ross gravitated toward the wilds of nature, and where could you find nature in greater abundance than Florida's Silver Springs? As a boy he made Eagle Scout, and would later help the Boy Scouts set the standards for several wildlife merit badges. He was stand-in for Johnny Weismuller in the Tarzan movies shot at the springs, then went on to star in a few short films of his own that depicted him as a sort of latter day Tarzan -- an image he was careful to cultivate. Marjorie Kinnian Rawlings, in her account of a snake hunt with Ross in Cross Creek, paints him as an easy going, patient man, with a great love for the wilds and understanding of its creatures, especially snakes. Characteristically, he had invited her on the hunt in hopes that she would write about him. He founded Ross Allen's Reptile Institute at Silver Springs in 1929, displaying native snakes, alligators, and an "Indian Village" with Seminoles he recruited from the Everglades. After watching Ross handle the snakes and Indians wrestle gators, tourists could purchase their own souvenir live reptiles to take back home with them. As time went on the emphasis at the Reptile Institute shifted a bit, from wild and woolly demonstration to scientific observation. Allen's studies of the American Alligator were among the first of this important reptile. Snakes were milked for their venom to be sent around the world for research and the production of antivenin. (Antivenin Ross would himself need on occasion, having been bitten more than a dozen times in the process). Reptiles raised here were sold to zoos and other tourist attractions across the country. Silver Springs saw a sharp drop in visitors in the 1970's after the opening of Walt Disney World and the gas crisis, and as the main Silver Springs attraction began to consolidate itself the peripheral attractions, like Tommy Bartlett's Deer Ranch, the Prince of Peace Memorial, and the Reptile Institute closed or were absorbed into the single Silver Springs park. For a time, Ross continued to give reptile demonstrations at the Alligator Farm in Saint Augustine, and he lent his name to a small wildlife park adjacent to the Shell Factory in North Fort Myers. Then, he developed bigger plans. Ross Allen's Alligator Town was to be a tourist attraction and alligator farm in Lake City near the intersection of I-75 and U.S.90. Rather than fight Disney, Ross hoped to siphon off some of its southbound traffic on the way. The 50 acre, $800,000 park was to feature a reptile museum, alligator farm with underwater alligator wrestling, a rattlesnake show, turtle garden, and wild lizard jungle. Waterslides, rides, and other theme park trappings were to be added eventually, with an amphitheater for concerts and other shows. Allen, along with partner Dennis Magee, a former president of the Florida Herpetological Society, planned a June 1981 opening. But it was an opening Ross Allen would never see. The month before the park was to open he became ill, then died in Gainesville's Shands Hospital on Sunday, May 17, 1981. He was 73. This is an ORIGINAL item, NOT A REPRODUCTION item! Great condition - just one very slight crease at middle, hardly noticableComes from a smoke & pet free home - has no odorThanks for looking Condition: Used, Condition: Great condition

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