Miami New Times:
In the early 1920s, when Carl Fisher was building Miami Beach and his fortune, he decided he needed a publicist to get the word out about his new city. In 1924, he hired Steve Hannagan, a press agent that Fisher once worked with in Indianapolis. A year later, Hannagan opened the Miami Beach News Bureau and staffed it with writers and photographers. Their job: supplying northern newspapers with stories and photos of Fisher's Miami Beach in hopes of luring tourists to the new island city.
Early on, Hannagan hit upon the idea of having his photographers take pictures of high-school girls at the beach. During the winter, Hannagan would send the photos to northern newspapers, which gladly printed them.
Thus began a cottage industry of Miami Beach "cheesecake" photos that thrived to the point that the city itself eventually hired a full-time bikini photographer on the taxpayer payroll. That strange, mostly forgotten era is illuminated in a recently rediscovered treasure trove of News Bureau promotional shots, mostly from the 1960s.
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All photos circa 1960s, via Miami Beach Digital Archives.