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Amazing! Maine Stories: 1999-1879

This slideshow contains 53 items
1
Dave Glovsky, Old Orchard Beach, 1955

Dave Glovsky, Old Orchard Beach, 1955

Item 16897 info
Maine Historical Society

CLAIRVOYANT GUESSES WEIGHT;
HE KNOWS HOW OLD YOU ARE


OLD ORCHARD BEACH, 1948 -- This popular beach's newest personality can tell you things you might wish he didn't know.

Dave "the Guesser" Glovsky knows your weight. Your age. Your birth date. Your occupation. He might even know what kind of car you drove to get here.


2
Dave the Guesser with kids, 1964

Dave the Guesser with kids, 1964

Item 146 info
Maine Historical Society

Dave the Guesser can meow like a cat so convincingly you'll go looking for the hidden feline. You can't see Dave's lips moving.

Remember Cyrano? He is Dave's wooden dummy from his ventriloquist show. Cyrano even has real dentures.

Dave's many talents are now (1948) the talk of Old Orchard.

He's part of the attraction that has cars crowding the new Maine Turnpike that opened in December. Vacationers and others jam the roadway from Kittery to Portland.


3
Dave the Guesser sign, Old Orchard Beach, ca. 1980s

Dave the Guesser sign, Old Orchard Beach, ca. 1980s

Item 16894 info
Maine Historical Society

Tourists who used to come to Maine for the whole summer now come in their cars, stay a week or two, and leave. They pack resorts like this one with its long sandy beach and pier.

And they flock to the many amusements -- and especially to the skilled guesser.


4
Chair and scale belonging to Dave the Guesser

Chair and scale belonging to Dave the Guesser

Item 17251 info
Maine Historical Society

Dave, born in Portland in 1909, likes to show off his muscles. He's only 5 feet, 5 inches tall. But he has muscles from his other job as a furniture mover.

Some of the muscles might be left over from his career as a boxer. He started boxing at 16. Glovsky even fought New England Amateur champ Irish Jim Feeney to a draw in 1925.

But his boxing career was no match for his mother. She chased him out of the ring one night. Dave respected her wishes and moved away from boxing.


5
Dave the Guesser Glovsky, Old Orchard Beach, 1958

Dave the Guesser Glovsky, Old Orchard Beach, 1958

Item 16901 info
Maine Historical Society

Only three years ago, in 1945, Dave stood in for a friend at the Pier, guessing weights.

The friend never returned; Dave never left.

Entertainers at Old Orchard are drawn to him, too.


6
Dave Glovsky, Jimmy Dorsey, Old Orchard Beach, 1956

Dave Glovsky, Jimmy Dorsey, Old Orchard Beach, 1956

Item 16898 info
Maine Historical Society

NEW YORK, July 10, 1985 -- Old Orchard Beach's Dave the Guesser appeared last night on "Late Night" with Dave Letterman.

Even the lights of television could not intimidate Old Orchard's guesser.

Dave the Guesser was right on the mark guessing Letterman's age and that of a young woman from the audience.


7
Guessing booth sign, Old Orchard Beach, ca. 1980s

Guessing booth sign, Old Orchard Beach, ca. 1980s

Item 16892 info
Maine Historical Society

Of his national television appearance, Glovsky said, "I did one heck of a tap dance."

He added, "There's nobody around like me, is there?"

PORTLAND, October 9, 1997 -- Old Orchard Beach guessing fixture Dave Glovsky died today at age 88.


8
Toy Len Goon, American Mother of the Year, 1952

Toy Len Goon, American Mother of the Year, 1952

Item 10367 info
Maine Historical Society

IMMIGRANT NAMED
MOTHER OF THE YEAR;
BORN IN CHINA


PORTLAND, May 5, 1952 -- In some place, they might talk about Marilyn Monroe, the movie actress whose picture was on the cover of Life magazine recently.

Or maybe about Mamie Eisenhower, the candidate's wife and the model American wife and mother.


9
Clothing worn by Toy Len Goon

Clothing worn by Toy Len Goon

Item 10494 info
Maine Historical Society

But in Portland, a diminutive Chinese immigrant who runs a laundry on Forest Avenue is the talk of the town.

It was only 31 years ago that Toy Len Goon came to America. Now she is the new Mother of the Year in her adopted country.


10
Toy Len Goon, Portland, 1952

Toy Len Goon, Portland, 1952

Item 10368 info
Maine Historical Society

Some people say women should stay home and take care of the house, of children, and of husbands.

Toy Len Goon didn't have that choice.

When her husband, Dogan Goon, died in 1941, she was left with eight children, ages 3 to 16, to raise by herself.


11
Bar of soap from Chinese laundry

Bar of soap from Chinese laundry

Item 10495 info
Maine Historical Society

Imagine that. She came from China. She had to learn a new language. She's worked nearly every day of her life since she's been here.

She and her husband ran the laundry on Forest Avenue. She's been doing it on her own for 11 years now, getting some help from her children.


12
Iron used by Toy Len Goon

Iron used by Toy Len Goon

Item 10498 info
Maine Historical Society

Toy Len Goon's done such a good job at being a mother and a breadwinner that the Golden Rule Foundation picked her for the Mother of the Year honor.

She works in the laundry all day and still her children all got educations and are all doing well.

Now that's a modern woman.


13
Birthday scroll, ca. 1970

Birthday scroll, ca. 1970

Item 16832 info
Maine Historical Society

A trip to the White House and the U.S. Congress are planned, where she'll meet another modern woman from Maine, Senator Margaret Chase Smith.


14
Thomas Brackett Reed, Portland, ca. 1900

Thomas Brackett Reed, Portland, ca. 1900

Item 140 info
Maine Historical Society

REED COUNTS DEMOCRATS,
PANDEMONIUM IN U.S. HOUSE;
CATCALLS, SHRIEKING, APPLAUSE


WASHINGTON, D.C., February 14, 1890 --"Czar," "Tyranny," "Revolution" were calls heard from the floor of the United States House of Representatives on January 29 when Speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed, the imposing Republican from Maine, ordered the clerk to count the Democrats.


15
Thomas Brackett Reed gavel, ca. 1890

Thomas Brackett Reed gavel, ca. 1890

Item 16931 info
Maine Historical Society

The opposing party had used a favorite stalling technique. They asked for a roll call, then remained silent when their names were called. No quorum. The bill would be defeated.

Reed wanted nothing of it. He wanted legislation concerning a contested election of a representative passed.


16
Thomas Brackett Reed campaign button, 1896

Thomas Brackett Reed campaign button, 1896

Item 16935 info
Maine Historical Society

The Democrats remained silent at the roll call. But not for long. Reed marked them all present. There was yelling and shouting and general disarray in the House chambers. The Democrats protested. Reed ruled them out of order.

And, after five days of debate and anger, Reed's Rules are now in effect. No more silent quorums. Business will be done.


17
Reed Club Ribbon, ca. 1894

Reed Club Ribbon, ca. 1894

Item 16936 info
Maine Historical Society

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 4, 1899 -- Thirty-three years as a legislator and civil servant have ended.

Thomas Brackett Reed today announced his resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives.

He has served in the Maine House, the Maine Senate, and was Maine's Attorney General from 1870-1872. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1877 and had been there twenty years when he announced his resignation.


18
Thomas Brackett Reed lapel pin

Thomas Brackett Reed lapel pin

Item 16933 info
Maine Historical Society

The large man, usually dressed in black, was Speaker of the House from 1889-1891 and from 1895 until his resignation today.

He was known by some as "Czar Reed" for his vigorous enforcement of House rules.


19
Thomas Brackett Reed medal, 1910

Thomas Brackett Reed medal, 1910

Item 16932 info
Maine Historical Society

Sources say he could not live with the imperialistic actions of the U.S. government.

Reed said, "I have tried, perhaps not always successfully, to make the acts of my public life accord with my conscience, and I cannot now do this thing."


20
Thomas Brackett Reed monument, Portland, ca. 1910

Thomas Brackett Reed monument, Portland, ca. 1910

Item 16152 info
Maine Historical Society

Reed did not like the war with Spain. He strongly disagreed with the annexation of Hawaii. And he deplored the purchase of the Philippines.

Unable to stand it any longer, the once-powerful politician is leaving Washington to practice law in New York.


21
Can of sweet corn, ca. 1862

Can of sweet corn, ca. 1862

Item 16834 info
Maine Historical Society

MAN EATS CANNED CORN;
LIVES TO TELL THE TALE


PORTLAND, 1852 -- Food in a sealed can? No one, not even the U.S. Patent Office believes it. But brothers Isaac and Nathan Winslow, Portland natives, believe it can be done.


22
Corn knives, ca. 1858

Corn knives, ca. 1858

Item 6959 info
Maine Historical Society

The Patent Office denied their request for a patent and has accused the brothers of "spoofing" them. Still, the Winslows persist.

They say their can will preserve vegetables and other perishables.


23
Winslow corn label, Portland, ca.1880

Winslow corn label, Portland, ca.1880

Item 1469 info
Maine Historical Society

They have been working for years to refine the canning process.

Largely through trial and error -- which they have carefully recorded -- the brothers have developed a highly effective process of preparing corn for packaging, cooking it, canning it, and heating the cans for the appropriate amount of time to ensure proper preservation.

They can now preserve vast amounts of corn with minimal spoilage.


24
J. Winslow Jones' corn label, Portland, ca. 1870

J. Winslow Jones' corn label, Portland, ca. 1870

Item 1470 info
Maine Historical Society

Isaac Winslow, a longtime whaler, first got interested in canning corn while living in Havre, France.

Napoleon Bonaparte prompted the first practical canning techniques -- to keep his troops dependably fed on their far-flung adventures.


25
John Winslow Jones, Portland, ca. 1870

John Winslow Jones, Portland, ca. 1870

Item 16951 info
Maine Historical Society

While those canning techniques weren't totally successful, Isaac Winslow was intrigued.

He bought the appropriate French patents and spent countless hours at sea thinking about how the process could be perfected.

(The Winslow Canning Co., which came later, was the work of Isaac's nephews, John and Frederick Jones)


26
Frederick Jones, ca. 1870

Frederick Jones, ca. 1870

Item 16949 info
Maine Historical Society

Upon retiring from the sea to Portland, Isaac Winslow set out with brother Nathan, a hardware store owner, to perfect canning.


27
Deering Factory, Portland, ca. 1870

Deering Factory, Portland, ca. 1870

Item 16948 info
Maine Historical Society

Before long, the brothers Winslow assert, everyone will be eating food out of tin cans.


28
Anne Longfellow Pierce, Portland, 1830

Anne Longfellow Pierce, Portland, 1830

Item 15634 info
Maine Historical Society

POET'S SISTER TO PRESERVE
FAMILY'S CONGRESS STREET HOUSE;
MONUMENT TO LONGFELLOW


PORTLAND, 1895 -- Anne Longfellow Pierce wants Portland and America to remember her famous brother.


29
Anne Longfellow Pierce instructions, ca. 1900

Anne Longfellow Pierce instructions, ca. 1900

Item 16972 info
Maine Historical Society

Pierce has signed a deed leaving Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's boyhood home to the Maine Historical Society upon her death.

The sprightly 85 year old doesn't expect that to be anytime soon.

She is said to have weighed the decision since the poet's death in 1882.


30
Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Portland, 1903

Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Portland, 1903

Item 5707 info
Maine Historical Society

The "Old Original," as family members call the house, was built on Congress Street in 1785-1786 by Peleg Wadsworth, a Revolutionary War general, close friend of George Washington, and patriarch of the extended Wadsworth-Longfellow clan.


31
Anne Longfellow Pierce dumbbells, ca. 1829

Anne Longfellow Pierce dumbbells, ca. 1829

Item 16835 info
Maine Historical Society

The house is notable for a number of reasons -- it was the first brick structure built in Portland -- but it is best known for its role in nurturing and shaping the life and work of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.


32
Anne Longfellow Pierce, Portland, ca. 1890

Anne Longfellow Pierce, Portland, ca. 1890

Item 16836 info
Longfellow National Historic Site

Longfellow's immediate family moved into the house shortly after his birth in 1807.

The poet wrote his first poems here, including the "Battle of Lovell's Pond." In some poems, such as "The Rainy Day Room" and "My Lost Youth," Longfellow's attachment to the house shines through.

He lived there until he left for Bowdoin College in 1822 and continued to make annual trips to the home for the rest of his life.


33
Wadsworth-Longfellow House sign, Portland, ca. 1901

Wadsworth-Longfellow House sign, Portland, ca. 1901

Item 16153 info
Maine Historical Society

Ann Longfellow Pierce lived in the house all but three of her long years and has been its keeper since her parents' deaths in the 1850s.

And a fine keeper she has been. She patiently entertains pilgrims who come to pay homage to the poet, and is ever mindful of her brother's place in the hearts of Americans.

She has saved her family's furniture and keepsakes and has made few changes or modern updates over the years.


34
Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Congress Street, Portland, ca. 1890

Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Congress Street, Portland, ca. 1890

Item 11334 info
Maine Historical Society

PORTLAND, 1901 -- Upon Anne Longfellow Pierce's death, the deed is executed.

In accepting her bequest, the Maine Historical Society agrees to keep the house as a "Longfellow Memorial" and to build their permanent home and library on the former site of the family's barn, just behind the house.

The Wadsworth-Longfellow House will become Maine's first historic house museum.


35
Brushians painting trip, ca. 1900

Brushians painting trip, ca. 1900

Item 15684 info
Maine Historical Society

COMPANY AGENT
WIELDS BRUSH;
PAINTS PORTLAND SCENES


PORTLAND, 1889 -- The S.S. Portland, the brand new state-of-the-art side-wheel steamer built for the Eastern Steamship Co. was towed into Portland Harbor today where it will be outfitted and equipped at the Portland Company Pier.

This is just one more feather in the cap for the Portland Company, the manufacturing giant that anchors Portland's waterfront.


36
Hand-pump fire engine model, Portland, ca. 1850

Hand-pump fire engine model, Portland, ca. 1850

Item 16874 info
Maine Historical Society

One Portland Company employee might be watching the big event with a special eye.

He's Superintendent George F. Morse, who not only works at the 44-year-old manufacturing giant, but loves to paint as well.


37
Portland Company stock certificate, July 1881

Portland Company stock certificate, July 1881

Item 8650 info
Maine Historical Society

Morse might be dreaming about the design and building of steam locomotives, engines, boilers, and other industrial equipment.

But he's also probably thinking about his landscape paintings and the group he helped found, the Brushians, a unique organization of artists made up of businessmen who spend their Sundays painting outdoor scenes.


38
The Burning of the American House, 1852

The Burning of the American House, 1852

Item 16865 info
Maine Historical Society

In fact, when Morse isn't at the Portland Co.'s bustling plant on Commercial Street -- the plant that straddles the Grand Trunk Railroad line, has two foundries, shops that manufacture virtually every part needed to build a locomotive, and employs hundred of workers -- he's often promoting the arts in Portland.


39
Great Fire of Portland from Eastern Cemetery, 1866

Great Fire of Portland from Eastern Cemetery, 1866

Item 16928 info
Maine Historical Society

Morse is president of the Portland Society of Art. For a decade, he served as field director of the White Mountain Club of Portland and even made sketches of the White Mountains for the New Hampshire Geological Survey.

Morse has no shortage of energy or interests: he is also a talented inventor, a mountain climber, and an avid ornithologist.

And he's worked at the Portland Company since 1858.


40
G. Frederick Morse painting of Portland fire of 1866

G. Frederick Morse painting of Portland fire of 1866

Item 16929 info
Maine Historical Society

PORTLAND, 1926 -- George Morse dies at 92.

He served as superintendent of the Portland Co. for 29 years, and was a draftsman there for 15 years.

Numerous paintings are donated to the Maine Historical Society.


41
Dr. John S.H. Fogg

Dr. John S.H. Fogg

Item 17779 info
William Fogg Library

FOGG CAPTURES BENJAMIN FRANKLIN;
HAS OTHER DECLARATION SIGNERS;
AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION GROWS


SOUTH BOSTON, 1879 -- Dr. John Samuel Hill Fogg, who has set his sights on the astonishing feat of securing the autographs of all 40 signers of the Declaration of Independence, recently bought a letter bearing Benjamin Franklin's signature.


42
Abraham Lincoln commendation to Adm. Foote, 1862

Abraham Lincoln commendation to Adm. Foote, 1862

Item 16160 info
Maine Historical Society

Fogg, a native of Eliot, and a Bowdoin alum, has been in single-minded pursuit of the autographs of significant figures in American history since 1873 when he became paralyzed after contracting polio and had to stop practicing medicine.


43
Letter from Martha Washington to Mrs. Warren, 1789

Letter from Martha Washington to Mrs. Warren, 1789

Item 17377 info
Maine Historical Society

Autograph collecting is the craze of the day, but Fogg takes his collecting seriously.

In a letter to a friend, he wrote: "I dislike to write myself an Autograph Collector though that is the plain term for it, as it always reminds me of the school girl besieging every noted person to write in her autograph album . . . I dislike to have my collecting placed on a level with the school boy's work."


44
Continental Congress resolution, 1776

Continental Congress resolution, 1776

Item 17383 info
Maine Historical Society

He's thinking even bigger than signers of the Declaration. He also wants the framers of the Constitution, all the royal governors of the thirteen colonies, the 38 major generals of the Revolution, all U.S. presidents and vice presidents, and other selected notables.

That's a tall order.


45
General Robert E. Lee, ca. 1865

General Robert E. Lee, ca. 1865

Item 17379 info
Maine Historical Society

Fogg's second wife, Mary Griselda Clinch, is an autograph collector too and her husband's partner in the endeavor.

She takes painstaking care in her mending, restoration, and preservation of the collection.

She even includes an engraving or other likeness of the signer on a cover page for most autographs.


46
Martha Washington, ca. 1860

Martha Washington, ca. 1860

Item 17376 info
Maine Historical Society

PORTLAND, 1896 -- A proud son of Maine, Fogg bequeaths his Autograph Collection to the Maine Historical Society upon his death.

The collection is vast, containing more than 6,000 signed documents, many of major significance.


47
Jonathan Morgan, Portland, 1869

Jonathan Morgan, Portland, 1869

Item 18339 info
Maine Historical Society

MORGAN STAYS AT ALMS HOUSE;
HAD SOUGHT CITY HELP;
WELL-KNOWN CITIZEN
LOST ALL IN FIRE


PORTLAND, 1869 -- Jonathan "Squire" Morgan, who walks downtown streets in his large-collared cloak, wide-brimmed hat, leather goggles, and silver-headed walking stick, only wanted some more help as he tried to recover from his devastating losses in the well-remembered fire of July 4, 1866.


48
Jonathan Morgan plea for assistance, Portland, 1869

Jonathan Morgan plea for assistance, Portland, 1869

Item 13314 info
Maine Historical Society

The flames devoured 300 of his books, melted his stereotype plates, destroyed a sample mowing machine, turned to ashes all of the copies of his book, English Grammar, burned a turning lathe and sewing machine, and consumed everything else that the then 89-year-old owned.


49
Morgan steam engine plans, ca. 1838

Morgan steam engine plans, ca. 1838

Item 13316 info
Maine Historical Society

Morgan is well known around town. He has been justice of the peace, librarian of the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association, and clerk of the Congress Square Universalist Church.


50
Jonathan Morgan coffee mill, 1840

Jonathan Morgan coffee mill, 1840

Item 16855 info
Maine Historical Society

All he wanted was some financial relief from the mayor and aldermen so he could move out of the Alms House where he has lived since the fire.

Instead, his petition was denied.

And this for an inventor! A lawyer! An author of books about grammar and medicine!


51
Jonathan Morgan diary, Portland

Jonathan Morgan diary, Portland

Item 13313 info
Maine Historical Society

The fire, started by a firecracker, burned buildings on 56 streets in the waterfront and eastern end of the city.

The Customs House, Post Office, City Hall, churches, hotels, bookstores, dry goods houses, and manufacturing firms burned. Steamships could not come into the harbor.


52
Jonathan Morgan plans for pump, 1823

Jonathan Morgan plans for pump, 1823

Item 13367 info
Maine Historical Society

Portland adopted the phoenix as a symbol of its intention to rebuild from the ashes of the fire and the rebuilding is underway.

Now the buildings are all brick. There is a new water system. We have a city park -- Phoenix Park.

Middle Street is a model commercial area.

Exchange Street is the financial district.


53
Jonathan Morgan, Portland, ca. 1869

Jonathan Morgan, Portland, ca. 1869

Item 18338 info
Maine Historical Society

But at least one Portland resident, Squire Morgan, did not rise from the ashes.

He is in the Alms House.


This slideshow contains 53 items