(from the 1938 Tin Can Tourists of the World, Inc. Constitution and By-Laws Booklet)
The closing days of 1919 found motor camping in Florida in its infancy, as evidenced from the fact that on December 1st of that year, only twenty-two camping outfits were to be found in De Sota Park, Tampa, the first mobile camp ground in the state. These pioneers, in order that they might become better acquainted with each other, gathered in small groups around a number of camp-fires, where they whiled away the evenings by singing songs and telling stories, as well as relating many thrilling experiences in road life. There were at that time no worth-while highways or camps and the tourists after a hard days drive of some forty or fifty miles often had to spend the night by the lonely roadside.
One of the early campers in De Sota Park, Mr. James M. Morrison of Illinois, conceived of the idea of forming an organization, the objects of which were:
- To unite fraternally all auto campers.
- To establish a feeling of friendship.
- To provide clean and wholesome entertainment at all meetings.
- To spread the gospel of cleanliness in all camps, as well as help enforce the rules governing all public camp grounds.
The organization meeting was held in De Sota Park, in January 1920, and a constitution and by-laws was adopted at a future meeting. The three high points were:
- The Name - “Tin Can Tourists of America.”
- The Slogan - “No fees! No Dues! No graft!”
- The Motto - “Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you.”
But little change has been made in the basic principles of the organization since its formation, save the word “World” has been substituted for the word “America” in the name. In 1937 the organization was incorporated. The name now is “Tin Can Tourists of the World, Inc.” The organization held its first Annual Convention the following season in De Sota Park, Tampa.