"Sponge Market, Key West Harbor, Fla."
Keystone View Co.
USA, FL, Florida Keys, Key West
overall: 3-1/2 x 7 in.; image: 3-1/8 x 6 in.
Stereograph mounted on gray board with rounded corners; photographh of the sponge market in Key West Harbor, Florida, two boats are next to each other, men are sitting on deck cleaning (?) sponges, some sponges are seen hanging in the rigging, probably drying; printed on left "Keystone View Company/ Manufacturers Publishers" and COPYRIGHTED/ MADE IN U. S. A."; printed on right "Meadville, Pa., New York, N.Y.,/ Chicago, Ill., London, England."; printed on top "111"; printed on bottom right "9175 - Sponge Market, Key West Harbor, Fla."; printed on back :111-(9175)/ SPONGE MARKET, KEY WEST HAR-/ BOR, FLA.."; "Lat. 24° N.; Long. 82° W."; and "The 'sponges' that are sold are only skeletons./ Sponges are animals that attach themselves to/ rocks on the bottoms of warm seas. The open-/ ings in the sponge which you buy are, in the live/ sponge, filled with a soft, jelly-like matter. This/ soft substance can be readily squeezed out./ Divers collect the sponges from rocks, with/ long rakes or hooks. These sponges are put into/ boats, carried to the shore, and there left until/ the jelly-like matter decays. Then they are/ washed, dried, sorted, and shipped to market./ It is one of these markets at Key West that is/ here seen. You will observe that the sponges/ shown are round in shape. This is because their/ long ends have been trimmed off. Many of the/ finer varieties are bleached before marketing./ Sponges are found in many parts of the world/ in warm seas. But there are only a few places/ where sponge fishing is profitable. The best-/ known of these are along the eastern shores of/ the Adriatic Sea, and off the coast of Greece/ and Asia Minor and parts of Africa. In the/ Western Hemisphere the chief sponge fisheries/ are off the Florida coast and among the Bahama/ Islands./ Key West is a city of 20,000 inhabitants on/ the most westerly of the Florida Keys, or islands,/ in the Gulf of Mexico. Its chief industries are/ the manufacture of cigars, fancy shellwork, and/ sponge factories. The city has a great harbor/ which the government fortified. Key West/ is a well-known winter resort. Its most interest-/ ing feature is the railroad which leads from the/ island to the mainland of Florida. This road/ bridges great stretches of the open gulf, and is/ the only railroad that is largely built over the/ waters of the ocean./ Copyright by The Keystone View Company."