USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

Browse Items (33 total)

  • Tags: sponges

1546115[1].jpg
Men gather to survey heaps of large sponges in the yard of the Sponge Exchange. The early wooden buildings indicate that this might be in the 1910s, before the sturdier brick buildings were constructed.

1546116[1].jpg
The Sponge Exchange bustles with activity with activity. The Sponge Exchange was an organized cooperative warehouse and distribution system established around 1908. At the time of this image, iron-grilled klouves (storage cells) separated the catches…

1546117[1].jpg
The Sponge Exchange on Dodecanese Boulevard across from the Sponge Docks was one of the most important places in Greektown. It consisted of a large courtyard for cleaning, processing, sorting, and selling sponges, surrounded by klouves, or cells in…

1546119[1].jpg
Hook and dive boats can be seen outside the Sponge Exchange at the Sponge Docks in 1930. In addition to being the primary locus of buy and selling sponges, the Sponge Exchange functioned as a community gathering place for special occasions. For many…

1546122[1].jpg
Men view sponges to be auctioned in the Sponge Exchange on July 24, 1937. By 1940, there were over 1,000 men actively engaged in the sponge industry. These men and their families constituted roughly 2,500 Greeks in a town of 3,402. With the onset of…

1546128[1].jpg
This early image of a sponge packing house is associated with the name Trefon Constantinou. Sponge merchants are central to domestic and international distribution. Many belong to families that have worked in every aspect of the business for…

1546149[1].jpg
A man stands next to the Sea Curiosities from Gulf of Mexico tourist display on January 30, 1928. Note the dinghy named for Greek Prime Minister Venizelos and the shop to the left, which is a ships’ chandlery. Mass tourism bloomed after World War I…

1546152[1].jpg
Outside their gift store on Pinellas Avenue in 1948 are children Costas Pappas, Fanitsa and Theodosios Frantzis, and adults Katherine Esfakis Pappas, her father-in-law Costas George Pappas, and sister-in-law Zula Pappas Frantzis. Katherine was raised…

1546153[1].jpg
Anna Smolios Kouskoutis Ioanidis (right) worked in Sylvia Billiris’ (left) gift shop during the 1950s. With the decline of the sponge business in the late 1940s and early 1950s, tourism based on Greek culture and the sponge industry became Tarpon…
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