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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


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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.

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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.

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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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A Town Is Born: South Bristol, 1915

After being part of the town of Bristol for nearly 150 years, residents of South Bristol determined that their interests would be better served by becoming a separate town and they broke away from the large community of Bristol.

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400 years of New Mainers

Immigration is one of the most debated topics in Maine. Controversy aside, immigration is also America's oldest tradition, and along with religious tolerance, what our nation was built upon. Since the first people--the Wabanaki--permitted Europeans to settle in the land now known as Maine, we have been a state of immigrants.

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Wired! How Electricity Came to Maine

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Auto Racing in Maine: 1911

The novelty of organized auto racing came to Maine in 1911 with a hill-climbing event in Poland and speed racing at Old Orchard Beach. Drivers and cars came from all over New England for these events.

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Summer Folk: The Postcard View

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."

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Maine Eats: the food revolution starts here

From Maine's iconic lobsters, blueberries, potatoes, apples, and maple syrup, to local favorites like poutine, baked beans, red hot dogs, Italian sandwiches, and Whoopie Pies, Maine's identity and economy are inextricably linked to food. Sourcing food, preparing food, and eating food are all part of the heartbeat of Maine's culture and economy. Now, a food revolution is taking us back to our roots in Maine: to the traditional sources, preparation, and pleasures of eating food that have sustained Mainers for millennia.

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Making Paper, Making Maine

Paper has shaped Maine's economy, molded individual and community identities, and impacted the environment throughout Maine. When Hugh Chisholm opened the Otis Falls Pulp Company in Jay in 1888, the mill was one of the most modern paper-making facilities in the country, and was connected to national and global markets. For the next century, Maine was an international leader in the manufacture of pulp and paper.

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Sagadahoc County through the Eastern Eye

The Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company of Belfast, Maine. employed photographers who traveled by company vehicle through New England each summer, taking pictures of towns and cities, vacation spots and tourist attractions, working waterfronts and local industries, and other subjects postcard recipients might enjoy. The cards were printed by the millions in Belfast into the 1940s.

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Washington County Through Eastern's Eye

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.

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World War I and the Maine Experience

With a long history of patriotism and service, Maine experienced the war in a truly distinct way. Its individual experiences tell the story of not only what it means to be an American, but what it means to be from Maine during the war to end all wars.

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Begin Again: reckoning with intolerance in Maine

BEGIN AGAIN explores Maine's historic role, going back 528 years, in crisis that brought about the pandemic, social and economic inequities, and the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

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Port of Portland's Custom House and Collectors of Customs

The collector of Portland was the key to federal patronage in Maine, though other ports and towns had collectors. Through the 19th century, the revenue was the major source of Federal Government income. As in Colonial times, the person appointed to head the custom House in Casco Bay was almost always a leading community figure, or a well-connected political personage.