Earl Morgan Savage is something of a mystery in early twentieth century Lakeland. He briefly owned a photography shop in the Vanity Fair Arcade on South Tennessee Avenue in the mid-1920's. By 1926, however, he was gone, apparently to Tampa. He left behind a wonderful collection of photographs of mid-1920's Lakeland at the height of the Florida land boom. His photos are of a very specific area of the city, the downtown business district. Savage did not wander too far from his shop in the Vanity Fair Arcade, as most of the photographs of Lakeland are of the downtown area immediately surrounding the Arcade.
The photographs are undated, but appear to have been taken in late 1924 and 1925. Savage and his camera captured the hustle and bustle of Lakeland's business district during boom times, with images of banks, shoppers walking along busy city streets, and the construction of the Terrace Hotel, the city's first high rise building. He also saw through his camera lens the Prohibition Era, as depicted in photographs of the city police chief destroying confiscated liquor on the city hall steps.