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Maine's Online Museum

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Exhibits

Your results include these online exhibits. You also can view all of the site's exhibits, view a timeline of selected events in Maine History, and learn how to create your own exhibit.

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Exhibit

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One-piece pink faille dress, York, ca. 1835

The Mainspring of Fashion

The mainspring of fashion is the process whereby members of one class imitate the styles of another, who in turn are driven to ever new expedients of fashionable change.

Exhibit

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Mary King Scrimgeour dress, Lewiston, ca. 1895

Dressing Up, Standing Out, Fitting In

Adorning oneself to look one's "best" has varied over time, gender, economic class, and by event. Adornments suggest one's sense of identity and one's intent to stand out or fit in.

Exhibit

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Blue Hill Academy graduates, 1894

Graduation Season

Graduations -- and schools -- in the 19th through the first decade of the 20th century often were small affairs and sometimes featured student presentations that demonstrated what they had learned. They were not necessarily held in May or June, what later became the standard "end of the school year."

Exhibit

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ca. 1829

Longfellow: The Man Who Invented America

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a man and a poet of New England conscience. He was influenced by his ancestry and his Portland boyhood home and experience.

Exhibit

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Chapman School patriotism, Portland, ca. 1920

"Twenty Nationalities, But All Americans"

Concern about immigrants and their loyalty in the post World War I era led to programs to "Americanize" them -- an effort to help them learn English and otherwise adjust to life in the United States. Clara Soule ran one such program for the Portland Public Schools, hoping it would help the immigrants be accepted.

Exhibit

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Dining hall at Camp Winnebago, 1957

Songs of Winnebago

An enduring element of summer camps is the songs campers sing around the campfire, at meals, and on many other occasions. Some regale the camp experience and others spur the camp's athletes on to victory.

Exhibit

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Grand Falls Expedition party, Labrador, 1891

Bowdoin College Scientific Expedition to Labrador

"The Bowdoin Boys" -- some students and recent graduates -- traveled to Labrador in 1891 to collect artifacts, specimens, and to try to find Grand Falls, a waterfall deep in Labrador's interior.

Exhibit

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Westbrook Seminary students, ca. 1855

Westbrook Seminary: Educating Women

Westbrook Seminary, built on Stevens Plain in 1831, was founded to educate young men and young women. Seminaries traditionally were a form of advanced secondary education. Westbrook Seminary served an important function in admitting women students, for whom education was less available in the early and mid nineteenth century.

Exhibit

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John Bapst High School basketball Booster button, Bangor, ca. 1950

John Bapst High School

John Bapst High School was dedicated in September 1928 to meet the expanding needs of Roman Catholic education in the Bangor area. The co-educational school operated until 1980, when the diocese closed it due to decreasing enrollment. Since then, it has been a private school known as John Bapst Memorial High School.

Exhibit

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George Washington at Monmouth

A Soldier's Declaration of Independence

William Bayley of Falmouth (Portland) was a soldier in the Continental Army, seeing service at Ticonderoga, Valley Forge, Monmouth Court House, and Saratoga, among other locations. His letters home to his mother reveal much about the economic hardships experienced by both soldiers and those at home.

Exhibit

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Hiram Church, Presque Isle, 1861

Presque Isle and the Civil War

Presque Isle had fewer than 1,000 residents in 1860, but it still felt the impact of the Civil War. About half of the town's men went off to war. Of those, a third died. The effects of the war were widespread in the small community.

Exhibit

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Writing on the board, North School, Portland, ca. 1915

Back to School

Public education has been a part of Maine since Euro-American settlement began to stabilize in the early eighteenth century. But not until the end of the nineteenth century was public education really compulsory in Maine.

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