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Cooking on the Road

Touring Florida was once an activity only for the wealthy.  However, a combination of prosperity, increased leisure time, and inexpensive automobiles made a Florida vacation available to the masses during the 1920s.

Adventurous souls modified their cars or purchased second-hand vehicles in order to tour Florida as "tin can campers."  They drove south to the land of oranges and warm winters, camping by night and eating store-bought food along the way.  Since they often ate food from metal cans they became known as “tin can tourists.” The campers had shelves, which would have sagged with food cans—a pan for a sink, and a portable stove. 

Tin can tourism grew during the twenties. Organizations like the Tin Can Tourists of the World were formed to benefit the motorized travelers who invaded Florida each winter.  Local merchants and real estate promoters soon discovered the phenomenon and built special parks so the tourist could camp, rest, and stimulate the local economy.