Keywords: New England Telephone Co.
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.
Images taken by itinerant photographers for Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company, a real photo postcard company, provide a unique look at industry, commerce, recreation, tourism, and the communities of Washington County in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Vacationers, "rusticators," or tourists began flooding into Maine in the last quarter of the 19th century. Many arrived by train or steamer. Eventually, automobiles expanded and changed the tourist trade, and some vacationers bought their own "cottages."
When the Somerset Telephone Company offered dial telephone service to the twelve exchanges in Somerset and Franklin counties in 1959, the era of…