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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

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.

Exhibit

How Sweet It Is

Desserts have always been a special treat. For centuries, Mainers have enjoyed something sweet as a nice conclusion to a meal or celebrate a special occasion. But many things have changed over the years: how cooks learn to make desserts, what foods and tools were available, what was important to people.

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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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Cooks and Cookees: Lumber Camp Legends

Stories and tall tales abound concerning cooks and cookees -- important persons in any lumber camp, large or small.

Exhibit

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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Canning: A Maine Industry

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

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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.

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Civil Defense: Fear and Safety

In the 1950s and the 1960s, Maine's Civil Defense effort focused on preparedness for hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters and a more global concern, nuclear war. Civil Defense materials urged awareness, along with measures like storing food and other staple items and preparing underground or other shelters.

Exhibit

Hunting Season

Maine's ample woods historically provided numerous game animals and birds for hunters seeking food, fur, or hides. The promotion of hunting as tourism and concerns about conservation toward the end of the nineteenth century changed the nature of hunting in Maine.

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Prohibition in Maine in the 1920s

Federal Prohibition took hold of America in 1920 with the passing of the Volstead Act that banned the sale and consumption of all alcohol in the US. However, Maine had the Temperance movement long before anyone was prohibited from taking part in one of America's most popular past times. Starting in 1851, the struggles between the "drys" and the "wets" of Maine lasted for 82 years, a period of time that was everything but dry and rife with nothing but illegal activity.

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Women, War, and the Homefront

When America entered the Great War in 1917, the government sent out pleas for help from American women, many of whom responded at the battle front and on the home front.

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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

The Sanitary Commission: Meeting Needs of Soldiers, Families

The Sanitary Commission, formed soon after the Civil War began in the spring of 1861, dealt with the health, relief needs, and morale of soldiers and their families. The Maine Agency helped families and soldiers with everything from furloughs to getting new socks.

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Giving Thanks

Cultures from the ancient Greeks and Chinese to contemporary societies have set aside time to give thanks, especially for the harvest. In 1941, the United States set a permanent date for the observance.

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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

Raising Fish

Mainers began propagating fish to stock ponds and lakes in the mid 19th century. The state got into the business in the latter part of the century, first concentrating on Atlantic salmon, then moving into raising other species for stocking rivers, lakes, and ponds.

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Atherton Furniture

LeBaron Atherton's furniture empire consisted of ten stores, four of which were in Maine. The photos are reminiscent of a different era in retailing.

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Fair Season: Crops, Livestock, and Entertainment

Agricultural fairs, intended to promote new techniques and better farming methods, have been held since the early 19th century. Before long, entertainments were added to the educational focus of the early fairs.

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Putting Men to Work, Saving Trees

While many Mainers were averse to accepting federal relief money during the Great Depression of the 1930s, young men eagerly joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of President Franklin Roosevelt's most popular programs. The Maine Forest Service supervised the work of many of the camps.

Exhibit

The World's Largest Oxen

Named for the two largest things in Maine at the turn of the 20th century, Mt. Katahdin and Granger of Stetson, were known as the Largest Oxen in the World. Unable to do farm work because of their size, they visited fairs and agricultural events around the Northeast.

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Nuclear Energy for Maine?

Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Wiscasset generated electricity from 1972 until 1996. Activists concerned about the plant's safety led three unsuccessful referendum campaigns in the 1980s to shut it down.

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Capturing Arts and Artists in the 1930s

Emmie Bailey Whitney of the Lewiston Journal Saturday Magazine and her husband, noted amateur photographer G. Herbert Whitney, captured in words and photographs the richness of Maine's arts scene during the Great Depression.

Exhibit

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.

Exhibit

Passing the Time: Artwork by World War II German POWs

In 1944, the US Government established Camp Houlton, a prisoner of war (POW) internment camp for captured German soldiers during World War II. Many of the prisoners worked on local farms planting and harvesting potatoes. Some created artwork and handicrafts they sold or gave to camp guards. Camp Houlton processed and held about 3500 prisoners and operated until May 1946.