Kevin Johnson, photo archivist for the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, will give a talk about a new book on real-photo postcards and sign copies Thursday, Aug. 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the Friends Community Room of Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St.

The book, “Maine on Glass: The Early Twentieth Century in Glass Plate Photography,” is a collaboration between Bill Bunting, marine historian and author of two volumes of carefully annotated historical photographs; Earle Shettleworth, Maine State Historian; and Johnson, who rescued, restored and cataloged the thousands of glass plate negatives of the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co.

“Maine on Glass” explores 200 of the postcard images of Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co., taken at locations all over Maine, from 1909 to the early 1950s. The Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. was established by R. Herman Cassens in Belfast, in 1909. Cassens, born in 1875 to a poor family in Rockland, left school at age 16 and he got a job at the Rockland Opinion newspaper. He moved to Belfast and worked for the Waldo County Herald. Cassens and his wife Lillian moved to Chicago briefly and then returned to Belfast.

Real-photo postcards were becoming popular — sharing views of towns, cities, resorts and landmarks. They were sold in souvenir and novelty shops, drugstores and newsstands. With his experience in printing, Cassens launched the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. During its first years, Cassens did most of the photography, but he soon planned to expand across the country and he hired photographers to travel the back roads, recording typical scenes and sending the negatives back to Belfast to be printed.

Eastern Illustrating produced thousands of postcards of views throughout New England and Upstate New York. It was the most prolific postcard studio in the country. Cassens served as mayor of Belfast for 11 years. He died in 1948.

The program and book signing is co-sponsored by the Rockland Historical Society and the library. Following the talk, attendees will adjourn to the Rockland Historical Society Museum for refreshments and conversation.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.