Everglades Biographies

Claude Carson Matlack

Claude C. Matlack came from Louisville, Kentucky, where his family ran an electric lighting business. Matlack's father also served on the board of a mountain settlement school in Oneida, Kentucky. Claude Matlack's early photographs document the communities around Louisville, including the school and its students and teachers. Many of these early photographs were published in the book Dawn Comes to the Mountains (George Rogers Clark Press, 1981).

Claude C Matlack first visited Florida in 1916, returning a year later to make Miami his home. He worked as a commercial photographer in Miami and Miami Beach until 1942. His studio was located on 23rd street in Miami Beach. Matlack photographed in Miami Beach, Miami, Florida Keys, Tamiami Trail, and the Everglades area; and to a lesser extent, in Fort Lauderdale, the Bahamas, and Fort Jefferson. As a member of Miami beach Chamber of Commerce , Matlack served on their committee that handled all of the publicity and advertising for the city until 1927.

Matlack's photographs give us some of the most memorable early images of south Florida's people and places. Matlack was especially busy during the "Roaring Twenties," when he photographed everything and everyone from flappers to tin can tourists. Other subjects included buildings of various types, Seminole Indians, people at beaches, recreational boats and boating, polo, golf, school children, aviation, film making, dredging, and construction.

Biography prepared by Gail Clement, Florida International University and Becky Smith, Historical Museum of Southern Florida

Photograph of Claude C. Matlack

Photograph of photographer Claude C. Matlack, 19--.

Photo courtesy of Florida Bureau of Archives & Records Management, Florida Photographic Collection

Sample of Matlack's work in advertising, 1931.

Matlack advertising sample

Image courtesy of History Miami (formerly Historical Museum of Southern Florida)



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