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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

Powering Pejepscot Paper Co.

In 1893, F.C. Whitehouse of Topsham, who owned paper mills in Topsham and Lisbon Falls, began construction of a third mill on the eastern banks of the Androscoggin River five miles north of Topsham. First, he had to build a dam to harness the river's power.

Exhibit

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.

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

Eastern Fine Paper

The paper mill on the Penobscot River in South Brewer, which became known as Eastern Fine Paper Co., began as a sawmill in 1884 and grew over the years as an important part of the economy of the region and a large presence in the landscape. Its closing in 2005 affected more than the men and women who lost their jobs.

Exhibit

Shepard Cary: Lumberman, Legislator, Leader and Legend

Shepard Cary (1805-1866) was one of the leading -- and wealthiest -- residents of early Aroostook County. He was a lumberman, merchant, mill operator, and legislator.

Exhibit

History in Motion: The Era of the Electric Railways

Street railways, whether horse-drawn or electric, required the building of trestles and tracks. The new form of transportation aided industry, workers, vacationers, and other travelers.

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

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 Swinging Bridge: Walking Across the Androscoggin

Built in 1892 to entice workers at the Cabot Manufacturing Corporation in Brunswick to move to newly built housing in Topsham, the Androscoggin Pedestrian "Swinging" Bridge or Le Petit Pont quickly became important to many people traveling between the two communities.

Exhibit

Aroostook County Railroads

Construction of the Bangor and Aroostook rail lines into northern Aroostook County in the early twentieth century opened the region to tourism and commerce from the south.

Exhibit

From French Canadians to Franco-Americans

French Canadians who emigrated to the Lewiston-Auburn area faced discrimination as children and adults -- such as living in "Little Canada" tenements and being ridiculed for speaking French -- but also adapted to their new lives and sustained many cultural traditions.

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

Le Théâtre

Lewiston, Maine's second largest city, was long looked upon by many as a mill town with grimy smoke stacks, crowded tenements, low-paying jobs, sleazy clubs and little by way of refinement, except for Bates College. Yet, a noted Québec historian, Robert Rumilly, described it as "the French Athens of New England."

Exhibit

Yarmouth: Leader in Soda Pulp

Yarmouth's "Third Falls" provided the perfect location for papermaking -- and, soon, for producing soda pulp for making paper. At the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, Yarmouth was an international leader in soda pulp production.

Exhibit

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.

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.

Exhibit

From Sewers to Skylines: William S. Edwards's 1887 Photo Album

William S. Edwards (1830-1918) was a civil engineer who worked for the City of Portland from 1876-1906. Serving as First Assistant to Chief Engineer William A. Goodwin, then to Commissioner George N. Fernald, Edwards was a fixture in City Hall for 30 consecutive years, proving indispensable throughout the terms of 15 Mayors of Portland, including all six of those held by James Phineas Baxter. Edwards made significant contributions to Portland, was an outstanding mapmaker and planner, and his works continue to benefit historians.

Exhibit

Ice: A Maine Commodity

Maine's frozen rivers and lakes provided an economic opportunity. The state shipped thousands of tons of ice to ports along the East Coast and to the West Indies that workers had cut and packed in sawdust for shipment or later use.

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

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

Educating Oneself: Carnegie Libraries

Industrialist Andrew Carnegie gave grants for 20 libraries in Maine between 1897 and 1912, specifying that the town own the land, set aside funds for maintenance, have room to expand -- and offer library services at no charge.

Exhibit

La Basilique Lewiston

Like many cities in France, Lewiston and Auburn's skylines are dominated by a cathedral-like structure, St. Peter and Paul Church. Now designated a basilica by the Vatican, it stands as a symbol of French Catholic contributions to the State of Maine.

Exhibit

Sylvan Site: A Model Development

Frederick Wheeler Hinckley, a Portland lawyer and politician, had grand visions of a 200-home development when he began the Sylvan Site in South Portland in 1917. The stock market crash in 1929 put a halt to his plans, but by then he had built 37, no two of which were alike.

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.