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Primary Sources for Finding Katahdin Chapter 10, Sections 2 & 3

This Document Packet Contains 9 Items


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Item 9239

Hobo Den, Topsham, ca. 1933

Hobo Den, Topsham, ca. 1933 / Pejepscot Historical Society

Chapter 10, page 300-302.

The stock market crash in October 1929 affected some Mainers, although many people here did not have money invested in stocks.

Maine felt the Depression through work shortages and lack of markets for agricultural products and goods such as seafood and lumber.

 

Item 11194

Filling fish cans, Portland, 1934

Filling fish cans, Portland, 1934 / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 10, page 300-302.

Cities were hard hit when the demand for factory goods fell, and many industries threatened to close.

This photo was taken in a canning factory in Portland in 1934.

 

Item 6246

Sidewalk work, Biddeford, ca. 1934

Sidewalk work, Biddeford, ca. 1934 / Maine State Archives

Chapter 10, page 300-302.

Local and federal governments supplied relief to the many who were unemployed. The City of Portland spent five times as much on relief for the city's poor in 1933 as it had in 1930.

In return for aid, people built roads, cleaned streets, and cut lumber from town lots.

 

Item 13195

Potato barrels at harvest, Caribou, ca. 1930

Potato barrels at harvest, Caribou, ca. 1930 / Caribou Public Library

Chapter 10, page 300-302.

The Depression also affected rural communities.

Markets for agriculture products disappeared.

In 1934, Aroostook County yielded the largest potato crop to date, but prices had dropped so low that farmers threw out the majority of the harvest.

 

Item 6149

Wyman Station, Bingham, 1929

Wyman Station, Bingham, 1929 / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 10, page 303-304.

The Bingham hydroelectric power plant was built during the Depression, named for Walter Wyman, the founder of Central Maine Power Company.

Wyman is remembered as a Depression era champion for the state of Maine, who worked to alleviate the effects of the Depression.

In the 1930s, Wyman decided to expand CMP by selling hydroelectric power generated from the Maine's major rivers.

CMP faced a major obstacle in Wyman's endeavor: the Fernald Law, passed in 1909, mandated that all power generated in the state of Maine should power Maine businesses only, and not be exported to power competing factories and textile mills in Massachusetts.

Wyman campaigned to the citizens of Maine to allow CMP to export hydroelectric power. Mainers voted his initiative down, and Wyman was forced to focus his business expansion within the state of Maine. Wyman decided to invest in several Maine industries including a shoe company in Auburn, a pulp products company in Waterville and Bath Iron Works.

Wyman and CMP contributed enormously to the economic prosperity of Maine during the Depression. His support of local businesses allowed many facilities that were doomed to close to remain in production.

Question: Why do you think Mainers voted to keep the Fernald Law? Was their decision the correct one? Why or why not?

 

Item 9890

Broadside announcing Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential campaign platform, ca. 1932

Broadside announcing Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential campaign platform, ca. 1932 / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 10, page 308.

In 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected president of a country in the midst of a severe economic depression.

FDR initiated numerous progressive initiatives that assisted the poor and created jobs. FDR's battery of relief programs were called the New Deal.

This campaign poster advertises FDR's 1932 campaign platform. Roosevelt, who was a Democrat, received little support from the faithfully Republican state of Maine.

In general, Mainers did not support FDR's belief that the economy would recover if people began spending more money. The New Deal initiatives were expensive and taypayers footed the bill.

In this broadside, FDR blames tariff rates, or taxes on international exported goods, for the failing economy. He says, "Less Tariff Means More Business."

 

Item 14146

Quoddy Village, 1936

Quoddy Village, 1936 / National Archives at Boston

Chapter 10, page 309-311.

One New Deal initiative was the Passamaquoddy Tidal Project.

Roosevelt was a frequent vacationer to the Eastport region, and believed that the tidal force of Passamaquoddy Bay could be harnessed to generate hydroelectric power.

FDR thought that a new power source in the area would attract businesses, and therefore bring commerce and new jobs to eastern Maine.

Congress allotted $10 million to the project, which never was built.

Quoddy Village, pictured in this photo, was built in 1935 to house all the workers who were scheduled to work on building the dam.

Once the village was built, Congress cut the funding on the entire Passamaquoddy Tidal Project. In total, $7 million had been spent to produce only an empty village and two small dams.

 

Item 17471

Mountain road, Acadia National Park, ca. 1935

Mountain road, Acadia National Park, ca. 1935 / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 10, page 309-311.

Another New Deal project in Maine was the construction of trails and roads at Acadia National Park.

 

Item 161

Portland Observatory Poster

Portland Observatory Poster / Maine Historical Society

Chapter 10, page 309-311.

The Works Progress Administration, part of the New Deal, employed thousands of men and women in a variety of positions from construction to entertaining. The WPA supported numerous artists as well by commissioning murals, posters, and other public artworks.

This poster advertising the Portland Observatory was created through a WPA funded grant.

 

 

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