The images on this site are copyrighted and used by permission from John V. Cinchett.  They are not  to be reproduced without his permission.

Sulphur Springs Arcade, 1956
Built 1925-26, Demolished 1976
Nebraska Avenue and Bird Street.

The hotel was situated near the "miraculous" mineral waters of Hillsborough River and represents an excellent example of a resort recreation facility of early 20th century. The most distinguishing feature of the hotel was its first and second floor front arcade in classical style. Josiah T. Richardson was the original owner of the property. In the late 1920s Richardson defaulted and the building was sold to South Carolina tobacco grower J.F. Hendrick. At his death the property passed to his five grandchildren. As estate holders, they exerted control over leases for the ground floor stores. In order to bring in new businesses, they refused lease renewals for many of the original shops.

Hotel in 1929
Hotel 2nd floor porch in 1930
Pool, 1930
Remarkable 1934 photo
Hotel Lobby 1934
Hotel Circa 1940
Sulphur Springs Hotel Historical

Sulphur Springs Water Tower

In recent years the City of Tampa took over the swimming pool and turned it into a public facility. The hotel and the shops remained until 1975. The following year the entire building was demolished. Original plans & construction: The second floor had thirty-nine hotel rooms and fourteen apartments and offices. Original number of downstairs shops is not known.

Sterling Cleaners, 1963
North Florida Avenue, Tampa

Delia Cinchett poses under one of her husband's masterful creations; a giant neon hanger. 

Note Allied Linoleum in the background, another Cinchett creation.  The vertical "Linoleum" section is a giant neon carpet roll.

Cinchett Sign Company, 1956
4707 N. Florida Avenue (Seminole Heights)

The sign company operated here from 1948-1992.

It is now the site of an antique shop with an ice cream shop at the corner of North Florida Avenue and Osborne.

Place your cursor on the photo to see the shop in color in 1957.

The Dinette, 1951
4640 North Florida Avenue

The Dinette was located just south of the Cinchett Sign Company.  The youngsters here are probably Hillsborough High School students.

Joe's Used Cars, 1956
4500 N. Nebraska Ave.
Seminole Heights, Tampa

Now the corner of N. Florida Avenue and W. Hilda Street.

The building behind Joe's sign housed the Oldt Waring Company, Lee Duncan Insurance and a tropical fish shop.

Steele Electric, 1956
4408 N. Nebraska Ave.
Seminole Heights, Tampa

This “striking” neon sign for Steele Electric is actually a giant neon lightning bolt.  Hopefully none of their customers were superstitious!  

The Last Neon Sign Designed by John F. Cinchett
John F. Cinchett standing under his last neon sign in Sept of 1995, installed on the front of the First Federal Tower at 200 Madison Street Downtown. (Between Tampa and Franklin St.)  Amazingly, this neon is still in place in 2010. The photo on the right was taken from the Lykes Gaslight Square across the street; both photos were taken by John's son, John V. Cinchett. John F. designed other signs after this one, but not anything that was neon. He died in Feb 1997, 15 months after this sign was installed.
The Legacy of Cinchett Neon Signs
Cinchett Neon Signs did what no other sign company did in its day.  They offered Tampa business owners the opportunity to pay for their signs in installments.  Many proprietors practically put their last penny into starting their business; leasing or buying a shop, maintaining an inventory, and paying employees, left very little for a beautiful, flashy neon sign which they needed to attract the customer's attention.  Thanks to Frank and son John F. Cinchett, shop owners were able to afford the best in neon and build a future for themselves and their families, keep their businesses operating, and in many instances become a Tampa landmark.

This circa 1956 view of the 500, 600 and 700 block of Franklin St. was taken by Hector Colado and provided courtesy of his daughter, Yvonne.  Cinchett Neon Signs built many of the colorful neon signs in this photo, including the elaborate Duval Jewelry Store "diamonds" that adorned the front facade of the store.

See a much larger version of this photo



Frank Cinchett





















Movie footage below was shot by Frank Cinchett showing various neon signs they made in Tampa, courtesy of John V. Cinchett.

 Signs and scenes in the video below:

  • Pepsi-Cola bottle cap

  • Golden Brown Diner, 1957, Hillsb. Ave.

  • Alpaugh Plumbing Supply, Fla. Ave.

  • Ayres Diner, Fla. Ave., Seminole Hts, 1957

  • Lowry Park, Sligh Ave., 1961

  • McDonald & Sons Construction Co, Nebraska Ave.

  • Weedeater Mowers, Broadway

  • Mary Carter Paint Factories, Broadway

  • Tillman 1hr Cleaning, downtown

  • The Key to Better Business, Grand Central Ave.

  • Safety Motors, 3700 Columbus Drive, 1959

  • Joseph of Tampa (hair salon), Fla. Ave.

  • U-Haul Trucks & Trailer Rental, Hillsb. Ave.

  • Alaska Motel, Nebraska Ave.

  • General Finance Loans, Franklin St., 1959

  • Florida 1 hr. Cleaners, 3 hr. Laundry, Grand Central, 1957

  • Ohio Bar, Polk St, downtown

  • Cummins

  • Jersey Trailer Park, US 41

  • Dixie Tile & Terrazzo Co., Armenia Ave.

  • Holsum Bakery, Hillsborough Ave.

  • Films Developing & Printing

  • Mary Carter Paints, Nebraska Ave., 1959

  • Duval Funeral Home, Nebraska Ave.

  • Flaming Buddha Restaurant in Hotel Windsor, Franklin St., 1957

  • Col. Sanders' Kentucky Fried Chicken, 1st one in Tampa, N. Florida Ave., 1962

  • Capri Motel, Nebraska Ave., 1957

  • Jimmie White's Lounge, Grand Central Ave., 1957

  • Vesuvio's Italian Restaurant,

  • First Federal Bank, Franklin & Lafayette St.

  • Burger Queen 15c Hamburgers, Hillsb. Ave.

  • Sunoco service station, Fla. Ave.

  • Atlas Lighting Electric Supply, Fla. Ave.

  • Louis Pappas' Restaurant

  • The Key to Better Business, Grand Central Av

  • Gulf Coast Business Machines, Grand Central

  • Chez Louie Night Club, Grand Central Ave.

  • Bel Air Motel, Dale Mabry Hwy.

  • Cinchett Neon Signs shop, Fla. Ave, 1957

  • Gulf Supermarket, Dale Mabry Hwy., 1957

  • National Trailer Rental, Hillsborough Ave., 1957

  • Folding Doors, Lafayette St.

  • Roy's 5c & 10c Clothing, Shoes, Toys, Lafayette St.

  • - Jewlers

  • Stuart's Eff. Apts. & Motel / Tennessee Motor Court, Nebraska Ave.

  • Chicken restaurant, Fla. Ave., Seminole Hts.

  • Alan Parker Auto Loans

  • Dutch Motel, Hillsb. Ave.

  • John F. Cinchett building Pepsi-Cola billboard, Fla. Ave., downtown

  • Garcia Brothers

  • Allied TV, Grand Central Ave.

  • Oak Park Cleaners & Laundry, Broadway

  • 1st Federal, downtown

  • Dairy Queen, Hillsb. Ave

  • Christen Drugs, Columbus Drive

  • Lindale Motel, Nebraska Ave., 1957

  • Travel Lodge, Grand Central Ave @ N. Blvd

  • Cinchett Sign shop, N. Fla. Ave., Cinchett's truck, John F. Cinchett and employees building a neon sign, Cinchett Neon Signs founder Frank Cinchett in front of shop.





Click on the 360p button to switch to better quality 480p mode.

This video is also available here at YouTube.


The establishments below can be seen in the above video with neon signs in action.


The first Kentucky Fried Chicken location in Tampa, N. Florida Ave. at Yukon St., 1962
Col. Sanders was present at the opening and can be seen in the video above.

Holsum Bakers,
Hillsborough Ave. at 22nd Street, 1957

Crowds would line up outside the bakery at Christmastime to see Santa Claus, who would give out delicious mini-loaves of fresh baked Holsum bread.

A Tampa girl enjoying a slice of delicious Holsum bread in 1954


Move your cursor over the photo below to see this Christmastime scene.

Read some of the memories of Holsum Bakers posted by Tampa Natives

 Gulf Coast Business Machines,
"The Key to Better Business"
 Lafayette St., 1956

Vesuvio Italian Restaurant
Lafayette & Franklin St., 1956

Owned by Roger Cavallo, you can hear him call in on the Nov. 17, 2010 Tampa Natives Show and talk about his place, one of only two Italian Restaurants in Tampa when he opened.  He used to draw in the customers by making his pizzas in the window, tossing the crust in the air.  Advance to the 34:38 time on the video of this entire show. (Look for the background image of Morrison's Cafeteria.)

Dixie Tile & Terrazzo Co.
Armenia Ave., 1956


Casa Rosa Apt. & Motel
US 41 in Lutz, 1957
(This sign is not in the Cinchett movie.)