Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Orange Bowl Parade Collection

Collection ID:
Orange Bowl Committee
Collection is in
. Some materials are in
Physical Description:
29 Cubic feet
67 boxes, 124 map folders
The complete records of the Orange Bowl Parade, Miami, Florida containing float renderings, programs, and photographs.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consusts of . This collection arranged into six series.
Series 1, Historical Background Material,
Series 2, Seiler, Ernest E., 1951-1977, undated
Series 3, Orange Bowl Parade
Subseries 3.1, Office Files
Subseries 3.2, Float renderings and Drawings
Subseries 3.3, Costume
Subseries 3.4, Parade Scripts
Subseries 3.5, Ephemera
Series 4, Publicity Materials
Series 5, Photographs
Subseries 5.1, Floats
Subseries 5.2, Bands
Subseries 5.3, Parades
Subseries 5.4, Queens
Subseries 5.5, Slides
Subseries 5.6, Orange Bowl billboards

Collection arranged into seven series.
Series 1: Historical Background Material,
Series 2: Ernest E. Seiler, 1951-1977, undated
Series 3: Orange Bowl Parade
Subseries 3.1: Office Files
Subseries 3.2: Float renderings and Drawings
Subseries 3.3: Costume
Subseries 3.4: Parade Scripts
Subseries 3.5: Ephemera
Series 4: Publicity Materials
Series 5: Photographs
Subseries 5.1: Floats
Subseries 5.2: Bands
Subseries 5.3: Parades
Subseries 5.4: Queens
Subseries 5.5: Slides
Subseries 5.6: Orange Bowl billboards
Subseries 5.7: Photographic Negatives
Series 6: Festival Float Files
Series 7: Oversize Float Renderings, 1945-2000
Series 8: Motion Picture Film, 1957-1972

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Orange Bowl football game and associated Festival and Parade is one of the country's oldest and most colorful spectacles. It was conceived in 1932 by local businessmen as a way to attract visitors to Miami in the middle of the Great Depression. Originally known as the Palm Festival, in 1935 it was renamed the Orange Bowl Festival. Its popularity grew steadily, especially after a full-time business manager was hired in March 1939 to promote it. Two months later, in May 1939, the organizers officially incorporated themselves as the nonprofit Orange Bowl Committee, with the avowed purpose of promoting positive social and economic activity in the Miami community through the annual game, festival and parade. The foreword of a promotional brochure for the 1940 Festival, The Story of the Orange Bowl, described it as "The ORANGE BOWL… An Institution of higher learning in the arts of sportsmanship and community co-operation….Conceived and administered by unselfish citizens in the public interest…. Dedicated to the ideals of fellowship, good will and understanding among all ages, in the upholding of a great state.... This, briefly, is the ORANGE BOWL, belonging to all Florida and to the nation…."
The parade came to national prominence after the Second World War. One key factor in the Committee's success was its early and mutually beneficial partnership with radio and television broadcasting, which brought the Orange Bowl festivities to a nation-wide audience. The parade packaged the social, cultural, and carnival-like fantasy life of Florida for northern audiences who might warm themselves by their televisions on New Year's Eve. To gain every advantage as a television event the parade was staged at night, unique among televised parades of similar scope and popular appeal. Unencumbered by height and width restrictions, its floats grew to fantastic proportions, characterized by animated mechanical figures, features such as "outriggers" (pontoon-like appendages from the main body of the float, like water skiers), and self-contained electrical lighting and sound systems. The latter anticipated Disney's "Electrical Parade." Similar attention was given to the staging of the Orange Bowl half-time show, whose multi-story telescoping towers and platforms have since become a Super Bowl staple. The production of Orange parade floats and special effects was a year-round job, which placed it in league with Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Pasadena's Tournament of Roses, and New Orleans' Mardi Gras.
The Committee ended its annual parade and festival in 2002 but the Orange Bowl football game continues.

Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collectioon was donated by the orange Bowl Committee, through Jeffrey T. Roberts, President, 2011.
Existence and Location of Copies
A digital reproduction of the rendering titled [Benjamin Franklin: Scientist, Patriot, Statesman, Diplomat], drawn between 1974-1976 and disposed of due to severe mold, is available.
The following floats rendering were disposed of due to severe mold:
"Music of Disney", sponsored by Jordan Marsh and drawn by Stan Burger, 1960s to early 1970s.
[Benjamin Franklin: Scientist, Patriot, Statesman, Diplomat], drawn by Stan Burger between 1974 and 1976 but unrealized in the parade.
"Coca Cola Salutes the U.S. Marines" sponsored by Coca-Cola and drawn by B.W. for the 1958 parade.
"The World of Walt Disney in 1967" sponsored by Eastern Airline and drawn by Stan Burger for the 1983 parade.
"[Reflections on a Winner], Join Scruffy on the Fire Safety Team" sponsored by Burger King and drawn by an unknown artist for the 1976 parade.
Processing Information
Processed by Nicholas Beyelia (intern), Brett T. Miller (intern), Erin Molloy (volunteer) June-August 2011; assisted by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., archives specialist; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist, and Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist.
A number of the renderings were destroyed before they reached the Archives Center because they had been exposed to severe conditions including water damage, excessive heat & mold and were unable to be salvaged.
Most of the artwork arrived at the Archive Center encased in a thick plastic and mounted to poster board to support it. When possible, the renderings were removed from the plastic as well as the poster board it was taped and/or stapled to and transferred to a format that was sound and would ensure its long-term preservation. In some instances, revisions and/or addendum were applied directly to the plastic exterior making it impossible to separate without losing information that could prove vital to the researcher.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
Orange Bowl Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

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Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Parades -- United States Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Parade floats Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Parades Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Parade float designers Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
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