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As early as 1633, entrepreneurs along the Piscataqua River in southern Maine utilized the force of the river to power a sawmill, recognizing the potential of the area's natural power sources, but it was not until the 1890s that technology made widespread electricity a reality -- and even then, consumers had to be urged to use it.
Photographers from the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Co. of Belfast traveled throughout the state, especially in small communities, taking images for postcards. Many of these images, taken in the first three decades of the twentieth century, capture Main Streets on the brink of modernity.
Tuberculosis -- or consumption as it often was called -- claimed so many lives and so threatened the health of communities that private organizations and, by 1915, the state, got involved in TB treatment. The state's first tuberculosis sanatorium was built on Greenwood Mountain in Hebron and introduced a new philosophy of treatment.