USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

Browse Items (42 total)

  • Tags: Sponge Industry

1546127[1].jpg
On the site of the old Sponge Exchange, a complex of boutique shops in a faux Cyclades Island architectural style opened on March 16, 1983. Several klouves on the north side of the Sponge Exchange were retained, originally intended for use by sponge…

1546118[1].jpg
Piles of all types of sponges fill the courtyard of the Sponge Exchange on an auction day in 1921. Most of the men in the courtyard appear to be Greek, except for the African American man walking towards the camera. He was one of many who worked in…

1546120[1].jpg
The elevated view reveals the sponge fleet at the Sponge Docks and the Sponge Exchange and view of bridge and surrounding area in 1932. Note the boat yard to the right of the Docks, where boats were built, repaired, and their hulls cleaned.

1546130[1].jpg
Sponge warehouses of the Greek-American Sponge Company of Chicago and the American Sponge & Chamois Company of New York, October 1932. In the past, there were many independent local sponge buyers, as well as agents of larger international merchant…

1546150[1].jpg
A merchant surveys the street from the doorway of his tourist shop stocked with shells and sponges in 1936. In decades past, tourist shops near the Sponge Docks marketed items such as sponges, shells, curios, and Greek vases.

1546151[1].jpg
A Greek saleswoman explains the properties of a vase sponge inside a tourist store near the Sponge Docks, 1936. Shops very similar to this one remain today, together with specialized and general tourist shops.

1546164[1].jpg
The family of a sponge fisherman poses for a photograph in front of their home on November 16, 1936. Although the talented Burgert Brothers photographers from Tampa found intriguing subjects in Tarpon Springs, they did not always record the names of…

1546010.jpg
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…

1546108[1].jpg
Back in port, the crew finishes cleaning and sorting sponges for auction on October 10, 1969. Cleaning the animals entails allowing their skins to decompose, rinsing them with water and squeezing them to eliminate internal matter and bits of skin,…

1546109[1].jpg
Niki Samarkos hangs finger sponges to dry on October 28, 1966. Most sponges harvested by the fishermen have some kind of personal or industrial use, but finger sponges are purely decorative.

1546157[1].jpg
Four men aboard George Georgiou's sponge diving exhibition boat at the Tri-city Suncoast Festival in 1961. John Georgiou operated his first sponge boat, the Plastiras, from 1947 to 1952. He then began to charter his second boat, the Aspasia, and gave…

1546126[1].jpg
Aerial view of the demolition of the Sponge Exchange in 1981. The Sponge Exchange was sold to new private owners who wanted to create a shopping complex. Although many members of the Greek community and preservationists from the Florida Department of…

1546081[1].jpg
Men with gather around a 6-foot high pile of sponges near the Anclote River probably during the 1920s. Among the Greek boats in the background is the Ellpis [sic], or Hope.

1546094[1].jpg
This is the identification card for sponge fisherman Paul Stavropoulos. During World War II, sponge fishermen needed identification cards issued by the captain of the port in order to journey out to the sponge beds.
Output Formats

atom, dcmes-xml, json, omeka-json, omeka-xml, rss2