New Book! The Plant System of Railroads, Steamships and Hotels : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Most every member of this Society knows something about Henry Bradley Plant(1819-1899), despite the fact that little source material exists about his remarkable career. Seth Bramson and I have sought to remedy this void in a new book entitled: THE PLANT SYSTEM OF RAILROADS, STEAMSHIPS AND HOTELS - The South's First Great Industrial Enterprise.

A consummate entrepreneur, Plant fashioned together an intertwined system of railways in four states, hotels, and several steamship lines. At its height, the Plant empire employed nearly 12,000 workers!

In 1902, Plant's heirs sold the 2,235-mile railroad system to the Atlantic Coast Line, and in doing so the latter nearly doubled in size overnight and achieved a much-needed presence below Charleston, SC, especially in Florida.

Plant's steamships, noted for their reliability and appointments, served such ports as Tampa, Key West, Havana, Mobile, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Boston, and the maritime provinces of Canada.

Always solitious of the travelling public, Henry Plant also established a chain of eight distinctive hotel properties in central and southwest Florida, among them the famed Tampa Bay Hotel, which is now home to the University of Tampa and the Henry B. Plant Museum.

Lavishly illustrated with many never-before-seen images, we have compiled a work that will forever memorialize one of the greatest business figures of the American south. Copies can now be obtained from Garrigues House Publishers in Pennsylvania by calling 610,261-0133. Hardbound, 8.5 x 11.5, 144 pages. The cost is $50.00 plus $4.50 for shipping. A wonderful Xmas gift!

-- Gregg Turner (, November 17, 2004

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