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Online 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. See featured exhibits or create your own exhibit


Exhibit

Laboring in Maine

Workers in Maine have labored in factories, on farms, in the woods, on the water, among other locales. Many of Maine's occupations have been determined by the state's climate and geographical features.

Exhibit

Biddeford, Saco and the Textile Industry

The largest textile factory in the country reached seven stories up on the banks of the Saco River in 1825, ushering in more than a century of making cloth in Biddeford and Saco. Along with the industry came larger populations and commercial, retail, social, and cultural growth.

Exhibit

Early Fish Canneries in Brooklin

By the 1900s, numerous fish canneries began operating in Center Harbor, located within the Brooklin community. For over thirty years, these plants were an important factor in the community.

Exhibit

Princeton: Woods and Water Built This Town

Princeton benefited from its location on a river -- the St. Croix -- that was useful for transportation of people and lumber and for powering mills as well as on its proximity to forests.

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Canning: A Maine Industry

Maine's corn canning industry, as illuminated by the career of George S. Jewett, prospered between 1850 and 1950.

Exhibit

Blueberries to Potatoes: Farming in Maine

Not part of the American "farm belt," Maine nonetheless has been known over the years for a few agricultural items, especially blueberries, sweet corn, potatoes, apples, chickens and dairy products.

Exhibit

Working Women of the Old Port

Women at the turn of the 20th century were increasingly involved in paid work outside the home. For wage-earning women in the Old Port section of Portland, the jobs ranged from canning fish and vegetables to setting type. A study done in 1907 found many women did not earn living wages.

Exhibit

Taber Wagon

The Taber farm wagon was an innovative design that was popular on New England farms. It made lifting potato barrels onto a wagon easier and made more efficient use of the horse's work. These images glimpse the life work of its inventor, Silas W. Taber of Houlton, and the place of his invention in the farming community

Exhibit

Land Claims, Economic Opportunities?

The landmark 1980 Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act provided $81.6 million to Maine Indians for economic development, land purchase and other purposes. The money and increased land holdings, however, have not solved economic and employment issues for Maine Indians.

Exhibit

Lincoln County through the Eastern Eye

The Penobscot Marine Museum’s photography collections include nearly 50,000 glass plate negatives of images for "real photo" postcards produced by the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company of Belfast. This exhibit features postcards from Lincoln County.

Exhibit

Jay & Livermore Falls, Pioneers in Paper Making

Alvin Record and Hugh J. Chisholm were instrumental in building paper mills in Jay, Livermore, and Livermore Falls. The two industrialists helped make the towns prosperous.

Exhibit

Silk Manufacturing in Westbrook

Cultivation of silkworms and manufacture of silk thread was touted as a new agricultural boon for Maine in the early 19th century. However, only small-scale silk production followed. In 1874, the Haskell Silk Co. of Westbrook changed that, importing raw silk, and producing silk machine twist threat, then fabrics, until its demise in 1930.

Exhibit

The Jews of Maine

Like other immigrant groups, Jews came to Maine to make a living and enjoy the natural and cultural environment. Their experiences have been shaped by their occupational choices, Jewish values and, until recently, experiences of anti-Semitism.

Exhibit

"We are growing to be somewhat cosmopolitan..." Waterville, 1911

Between 1870 and 1911, Waterville more than doubled in size, becoming a center of manufacturing, transportation, and the retail trade and offering a variety of entertainments for its residents.

Exhibit

High Water

Melting snow, ice, warmer temperatures, and rain sometimes bring floods to Maine's many rivers and streams. Floods are most frequent in the spring, but can occur at any season.

Exhibit

Irish Immigrants in Nineteenth Century Maine

With the popularity of all things Irish in modern America, many people have forgotten the difficulties faced by nineteenth century Irish immigrants.

Exhibit

Maine Streets: The Postcard View

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.

Exhibit

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland

The Wadsworth-Longfellow house is the oldest building on the Portland peninsula, the first historic site in Maine, a National Historic Landmark, home to three generations of Wadsworth and Longfellow family members -- including the boyhood home of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The history of the house and its inhabitants provide a unique view of the growth and changes of Portland -- as well as of the immediate surroundings of the home.

Exhibit

Promoting Rockland Through a Stereopticon, 1875

Frank Crockett and photographer J.P. Armbrust took stereo views of Rockland's downtown, industry, and notable homes in the 1870s as a way to promote tourism to the town.

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Maine Sweets: Confections and Confectioners

From chocolate to taffy, Mainers are inventive with our sweet treats. In addition to feeding our sweet tooth, it's also an economic driver for the state.

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A Tour of Sanford in 1900

This collection of images portrays many buildings in Sanford and Springvale. The images were taken around the turn of the twentieth century.

Exhibit

John Y. Merrill: Leeds Farmer, Entrepreneur, & More

John Y. Merrill of Leeds (1823-1898) made terse entries in diaries he kept for 11 years. His few words still provide a glimpse into the life of a mid 18th century farmer, who also made shoes, quarried stone, moved barns, made healing salves -- and was active in civic affairs.

Exhibit

Fashion for the People: Maine's Graphic Tees

From their humble beginnings as undergarments to today’s fashion runways, t-shirts have evolved into universally worn wardrobe staples. Named because the silhouette resembles the capital letter "T," the t-shirt—also called a "tee"—is usually a short-sleeved, collarless shirt made of cotton. Original graphic t-shirts, graphic t-shirt quilts, and photographs trace the 102-year history of the garment, demonstrating how, through the act of wearing graphic tees, people own a part of history relating to politics, social justice, economics, and commemorative events in Maine.

Exhibit

Independence and Challenges: The Life of Hannah Pierce

Hannah Pierce (1788-1873) of West Baldwin, who remained single, was the educated daughter of a moderately wealthy landowner and businessman. She stayed at the family farm throughout her life, operating the farm and her various investments -- always in close touch with her siblings.