The David Clark

Steamer David Clark, St. Johns River (1880s)

Steamer David Clark, St. Johns River (1880s)

The David Clark, launched in Jacksonville on February 27, 1875, was built in the Brock and Stevens shipyard, registered #6865. It traveled the Jacksonville to Enterprise (on Lake Monroe) run for the Brock Line on the St. Johns River. It was sold in auction to Captain Joseph Smith in August of 1877 because of Jacob Brock’s bankruptcy.

In October of 1889, it burned in Fernandina, Florida, and was officially listed as abandoned in 1893. The steamer had a side-wheel paddle and a tonnage of 483 gross and 442 net. It was 147.5′ long, 41.4′ wide, with a depth of 7.8′. It had 51 nominal horsepower, and could make speeds of 14 knots.

Put Me In, Coach!

In a tradition a century old, major league baseball teams are reporting to spring training camps in Florida (the Grapefruit League) and Arizona (the Cactus League) to prepare for the upcoming season.

Babe Ruth in a spring training game: Miami, Florida, March 16, 1920

Babe Ruth in a spring training game: Miami, Florida, March 16, 1920

Cleveland Indians spring training: Lakeland, Florida, between 1924-1927

Cleveland Indians spring training: Lakeland, Florida, between 1924-1927

Batting practice at Brooklyn Dodgers training camp in Vero Beach, between March 22-24, 1949

Batting practice at Brooklyn Dodgers training camp in Vero Beach, between March 22-24, 1949

Spring training game in Lakeland, Florida, March 1967

Spring training game in Lakeland, Florida, March 1967

Florida Marlins spring training game, 1993

Florida Marlins spring training game, 1993

Houston Astros spring training game in Kissimmee, Florida, 1980s

Houston Astros spring training game in Kissimmee, Florida, 1980s

Midwife Doll

Who is She and Why is She in the Archives?

Most of the unusual or unexpected items we find in the Archives are usually some form of recorded information. Every once in a while, though, something – or someone – a bit different makes an appearance.

Take this distinctive woman, for example.

Midwife Doll

Who is she, and more importantly, why is she in the Archives?

One clue is the agency from which she originated – what archivists call provenance. This mystery woman is from the State Board of Health, located in a series of Midwife Program Files from 1924-1975 (series S904).

Make sense now? 

The State Board of Health initiated a midwife licensing program in 1931 to reduce infant mortality and to promote maternal and child health. So, yes, this was a maternity and childbirth teaching aid for midwives and expectant mothers.

In addition to this midwife teaching doll, the Midwife Program Files include correspondence, reports of legislation, essays on midwifery, midwife manuals and publications, photographs, and midwife licenses, record cards, and summaries. The midwife record cards provide yearly health checkup information, race, literacy and education level, and consulting physicians. The summaries list licensed midwives in each county for each year.

There are plenty of great resources for mid-20th century public health policy research among the records of the State Board of Health in the State Library and Archives. Among the many other record series from the Board are a substantial series of administrative files dating from 1889-1926 (series S46), Board minutes from 1889-1969 (series S272), subject files from 1875-1975 (series S900), and a series of photographs, photographic slides, lantern slides, negatives and sound recordings documenting the history and activities of the State Board of Health (series S907).