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VIRTUAL Happy Hour with the Historian | Key West’s Industries

15-September from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

The Key West Art & Historical Society is excited to offer a series of VIRTUAL fun historical lectures entitled ‘Happy Hour with the Historian’.


Historian: Cori Convertito Ph.D.
Topic: Key West’s Industries

Despite Key West’s relatively young age, the island has enjoyed several unique industrial endeavors. Even before Florida’s establishment as a U.S. territory in 1821, many of Key West’s residents were actively involved in various trades including wrecking and salvaging. This commerce helped the island develop into an economic center and soon it became Florida’s largest populated city.  With the influx of new residents came the inevitable growth in industry; most notable were sponging and turtle fishing, both of which emerged in the 1850s.

By the 1860s, business was booming in Key West. The city’s rich and diverse economy enticed additional investors and developers, some of whom were skilled Cuban cigar manufacturers. They soon established several cigar manufacturing companies on the island, yielding an explosion among the Cuban population. The combined income from each industry made Key West the richest city per capita in the United States on the eve of the Civil War.

Happy Hour with the Historian is sponsored in part by The Helmerich Trust and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.


September 15, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Key West Art & Historical Society


Custom House Museum
KEY WEST, FL 33040-8313 United States
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