Sunday, November 13, 2011

Florida History: Frank Croissant in Fort Lauderdale: "This is how I made a fortune"

Miami News, Jan. 19, 1926

Miami News, Jan. 19, 1926
 For more Fort Lauderdale history,

By Jane Feehan

Once touted as the “World’s Greatest Salesman,” Chicagoan Frank Croissant bought nearly 1,200 acres for $1.25 million in 1924 south of New River to develop his Croissant Park. The following year, Croissant spent $215,000, an enormous amount of money for the time, for advertising. A few ads were for salesmen.

In the ad here from the Miami News (Feb. 24, 1925) Croissant asserts he was “sixteen years ago a teller in a small bank in Brooklyn, today one of the world’s largest real estate operators with a sales record of $20,000,000!”

Text-heavy, the ad describes working conditions at the Croissant Park sales office:

Miami News, Feb. 24, 1925

Here you will find supreme satisfaction … an atmosphere that breeds success in any man unless he’s downright worthless. There is no bickering here, no jealousy, no discord – nothing but happiness and success.

In the same advertisement, Croissant said a lesson he learned from Henry Ford was to make salesmen "co-workers of the employer."

Croissant Park remains one of Fort Lauderdale's oldest subdivisions. Frank Croissant bought property throughout South Florida, including an area in Palm Beach County that was to be called “North Palm Beach Heights,” at the western end of what became Donald Ross Road. His widow began the project in the mid 1950s but later abandoned it.

Other Sources:
Gillis, Susan. Fort Lauderdale, Venice of America. Great Britain: Arcadia Publishing, 2004
Palm Beach Post, Oct 1, 1972

Tags: Fort Lauderdale history, Florida history, Fort Lauderdale in the 1920s, film research

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