The History of Manufacturing in Daytona Beach

News Flash – Daytona Beach isn’t just NASCAR and Spring Break anymore.

While CO2Meter is the new kid on the block in the Daytona Beach area the history of manufacturing here is long and deep. And to highlight that history the Volusia Manufacturers Association teamed up with local manufacturers and the Halifax Historical Society to create a display that demonstrates the rich history and recent accomplishments of manufacturing in our combined beach communities.

Did you know that the first domestic rum production in the US was in the Daytona Beach area? Sugar cane was the original crop of the area and rum distillation soon followed.

Did you know that Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen was created in Ormond Beach, FL? The original garbage can that Ron Rice used to mix the first batches of sunscreen is on display at the Historical Society.

Port Orange has its own “advanced video game manufacturer” too. No, not EA Sports: Raydon Corp. designs and manufactures advanced combat simulators so that our men and women in the military can “practice” combat situations before ever being placed in harms way.

August 27 was the opening night at the Museum for the VMA display. The event included docents from select manufacturers discussing their companies' history in the area and business today. In addition, the VMA created a “scavenger hunt” of sorts to encourage interaction and networking. And fresh sugar cane and rum drinks were served to highlight the start of manufacturing in the area.

“This is another piece of our ‘We Make It Here!’ campaign,” said Jayne Fifer, VMA’s president and CEO, referring to the VMA’s ongoing campaign to raise public awareness of the Volusia-Flagler area’s manufacturing sector.

“It’s important for people to know their local history...they should be proud of it,” she said.

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