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  • Author or Editor: J. F. Knauss x
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The foliage industry in Florida had its beginning in the visions of a “Mr. Powell” of Springfield, Ohio3. Powell was sales manager for Springfield Floral Company which sold among other items Boston fern, Nephrolepis exaltata Shott. He also owned some land near Orlando, Florida where he knew these ferns were naturalized. The vision was simply the idea to mass produce the relatively high value Boston fern under Florida's subtropical climate and make them available to everyone at low cost through “five-and-dime” stores. He convinced Harry Ustler, a clerk in the firm, to go into business with him in Florida. Harry Ustler came to Florida in 1912, but failed to receive the backing promised by Mr. Powell. However, he soon found a partner and began growing Boston ferns in Orlando about 1913. The business was moved to Apopka in 1914 because of unavailability of land in Orlando and the die was cast for the present title, “Apopka, The Foliage Capitol Of The World”.

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