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As Florida moved into the mainstream of American economy in the late 1890's, professional photographers established studios to document the events, people and enterprises that contributed to defining the Sunshine State as an integral part of the New South states. The firm of S. P. Burgert and Son was one of the most prolific photographers of the period and their images recorded the evolution of Tampa Bay from a small village on Florida's west coast to a dynamic city that epitomized the tremendous growth that marked Twentieth Century Florida. From it founding in 1899 until the mid-1950s, the Burgerts took thousands of images of the best and worst of the city.