Role of Cigar manufacturing in Tampa’s development

Cigar manufacturing played a central role in the development of Tampa, Florida. Tampa was but a sleepy fishing village of less than 1,000 inhabitants when, in 1886, D. Vicente Martínez Ybor and other Spanish cigar makers decided to build factories and workers’ homes there. The cigar trade brought a massive influx of Spanish, Cuban and Sicilian immigrants, among others. Within a couple of decades, Tampa would become a major industrial, multicultural and multilingual city, and the “Cigar Capital of the World.”