Three bridges have crossed the mouth of Tampa Bay connecting St. Petersburg and Bradenton. Two of the bridges were “sisters”, though they were built at different times.
Prior to 1954, the bay was crossed by a car ferry, shown in the first postcard. The reverse of that postcard reads: “St. Petersburg Port Authority Ferry, St. Petersburg to Bradenton and Sarasota, saves 49 miles. Winter schedule, boats every twenty minutes. Summer schedule, boats every forty five minutes across beautiful Tampa Bay. Ferry Hillsborough is a former U.S. Navy L.S.M. Capacity 35 automobiles.”
By “U.S. Navy L.S.M.”, it was meant that the ship was a Landing Ship Medium – an amphibious assault ship constructed in World War II between 1944 and 1945.