Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Carl Fisher

Carl Fisher made millions in the early 1900s supplying his Prest-O-Lite acetylene auto headlights to the nascent auto industry.

 In addition to cofounding Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of Fisher’s subsequent endeavors, starting in the 1910s, was the development of Miami Beach.

 He financed the construction of Collins Bridge from the mainland, dredged Biscayne Bay to build up the land on Miami Beach, and then platted the land and started erecting winter homes for the wealthy.

No small thinker, Fisher also built the Dixie Highway (today’s U.S. 25) to bring Northerners to Florida — it ended at the foot of Collins Bridge (since replaced by the Venetian Causeway).

Fisher lost his fortune when the 1920s Florida land boom went bust and the stock market crashed, but his accomplishments in Miami Beach endured (neighboring Fisher Island is named for him) and earned him the sobriquet Mister Miami Beach.

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