Oddly enough, the Conchological Society of New Providence founded around 1939, was an offshoot of the oldest of such societies in the world. The Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland began in 1876, and it was founded for the study of molluscs and their shells. It is of no wonder then that, The Bahamas, as a British colony in the 1940s, and who had a plethora of shells lying about, including the popular conch shell, would have its own chapter of the Conchological Society.
When the Smithsonian Institute began in 1899, between Pennsylvania Avenue and the Potomac River in Washington DC, they had a Conchological department which featured, among other things, a collection of sponges from the Bahamas.
In 1942, naked sea shells on display held endless fascination for those interested in the natural and oceanic world. Thanks to the Conchological Society, Bahamian seashells became an attraction for shell hunters and tourists.
(The Nassau Guardian January 20th, 1942)
By 1951, shell hunting was so hugely popular to tourists, that it was factored in as part of tour packages to the Bahamas.
(The Tampa Bay Times, 19th August 1951)
By 1968, the Bahamas Conchological Society, was twenty-five years old. It had collected and catalogued hundreds of shells of entirely Bahamian origin, but unfortunately had not yet achieved their ultimate goal of creating a maritime museum to showcase the wonders of the seas that surround the many islands.