Dispensing bottle by Owens, USA, 1930-1936, containing medicinal water from the "Fountain of Youth", St Augustine, Florida, USA, collected 1936
The ‘Fountain of Youth’, like the so-called ‘Elixir of Life’ and the ‘Well of Eternal Youth’ is one of a number of myths that relate to the acquiring of eternal life. Such ideas are common across cultures and throughout history up to the present day.
One ‘Fountain of Youth’ was sought by early European visitors to what is now Florida. A Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de León, who accompanied Christopher Columbus to the Americas, set out to find the ‘Fountain of Youth’ in 1513. His hunt was unsuccessful but a popular tourist site known as St Augustine marks the place where Spanish conquistadors first came ashore. For over 100 years, people have visited the spring to drink the waters – which are said to have medicinal qualities – and hear the legend of Juan Ponce de León