Tarpon Springs, Greek community, maritime industry
With the spongers came many other Greeks working in related maritime businesses: ship chandlers, machine shops, boat builders, a sail loft, and sponge packing houses. Antonios Avgerinos (1860-1930) was a successful diving helmet maker from Symi who had studied helmet making in France. He established a machine shop on Aegina, and was responsible for significant innovations in helmet design, such as more windows and a better air-flow system. He was invited to Tarpon Springs to work as a consultant training helmet makers and others for several months. He arrived with his 11-year-old daughter in fall 1911, but as they were preparing to return in 1912, the Balkan wars and then World War I erupted. Avgerinos stayed in Tarpon Springs, practicing his craft to the end of his life.
Irene Giannaras Garner
“Antonios Avgerinos,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed August 24, 2019, http://exhibits.lib.usf.edu/items/show/2952.