American Beach Florida
Cast Iron License Plate Topper

                                               American Beach Florida                                               NEGRO OCEAN PLAYGROUND

Antique circa 1930 cast iron license plate topper.

These have been often reproduced being cast in a much lighter aluminum, differences observed in patina, lack of paint and size/weight.

Many original examples have experienced paint loss while this piece retains much of it's original colors.

111/4 x 41/2 inches

Heavy cast iron. 

American Beach was co-founded in 1935 by Florida's first black millionaire, Abraham Lincoln Lewis and his Afro-American Life Insurance Company. A. L. Lewis was one of the original founders of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company in 1901; with little education he became a world traveler, investor, philanthropist, and the first African-American millionaire in the state of Florida.

Since many white-owned insurance companies at the time would not insure Black Americans, A. L. Lewis's company filled a niche in the community and was very successful. With this newfound wealth, A. L. Lewis bought and built various amenities open to Black Americans, such as the Lincoln Golf Country Club and, of course, American Beach. Throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, summers at American Beach were busy with families, churches, and children. American Beach stretched over 216 acres. It was a place where African Americans could enjoy "Recreation and Relaxation Without Humiliation". The beach resort included hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs as well as homes and other businesses. Over time American Beach became known as "The Negro Ocean Playground" a place for "Recreation and Relaxation without Humiliation". (Wikipedia)


| /