USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

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  • Tags: Greeks

Greek men gather in the courtyard at an early version of the Sponge Exchange. The Sponge Exchange was founded around 1907 or 1908 as a nonprofit corporation with shares owned by 50 buyers. At this cooperative space across the street from the Sponge…

Men string sponges on a Greek boat in the Anclote River. After cleaning the sponges, members of the crew typically sort the sponges according to type and size, then string them on twine using heavy needles about two feet long—this keeps them sorted…

In this view looking north from the Sponge Exchange to the boats lining the Sponge Docks, men examine enormous piles of strung sponges harvested on recent trips. When the photograph was taken in 1921, the old wooden buildings had been replaced with…

In 1921, dozens of Greek boats in the sponge fleet line the wooden docks where men work and an anchor lies. Along with the lone horse-drawn buggy are the Sponge Exchange jitney and cars that are probably owned by the more affluent sponge merchants.
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