A look back at Lincoln County

Mar 02, 2018
Source: Penobscot Marine Museum An early Eastern Illustrating photo documents the Shoe Factory in Waldoboro.

Waldoboro — Waldoboro Public Library, 958 Main St./Route 220, is displaying the Penobscot Marine Museum photo exhibit “Lincoln County Through Eastern’s Eye” during the month of March. It is the fourth stop of this traveling exhibit, which has spent time at the Boothbay Railway Museum, Lincoln County Courthouse and the Sheepscot General Store.

Several years ago, PMM Photo Archivist Kevin Johnson began to create a Lincoln County exhibit of Eastern Illustrating postcard images. The Waldoborough Historical Society was contacted to give an overview of eight cards with Waldoboro as subject matter. WHS, in conjunction with the Friends of the Waldoboro Library, is pleased to present Johnson’s illustrated slideshow of Lincoln County scenes and an overview of the story of Eastern Illustrations Tuesday, March 13.

Light refreshments will be served by WHS members at 6:30 p.m. and the free program will begin at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend, as well as to view the exhibit in the library during the month of March. Waldoboro Public Library is open Mondays and Thursdays from noon to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During the height of the postcard craze that swept Europe and North America during the early 20th century, a local entrepreneur founded the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company in Belfast. For more than 40 years, EIP capitalized on the niche created by Herman Cassens, originally of Rockland, by producing “real photo” postcards featuring views of small towns and rural byways throughout the eastern United States.

Eastern photographers roamed the countryside throughout the warm months every year, each photographer well versed in his sales region. Although they remain largely anonymous, their work, consisting of tens of thousands of large format negatives, has been preserved at Penobscot Marine Museum and become a peerless photographic survey of small-town America in the Northeast during the first half of the 20th century.

The collection is the subject of a documentary film by Wiscasset filmmaker Sumner McKane, “The Northeast by Eastern”; as well as a book, “Maine on Glass,” by Johnson, Earle Shettleworth and William H. Bunting.

For more information about the Waldoboro show and presentation, contact the library at 832-4484 or info@waldoboro.lib.me.us. To peruse the Searsport museum’s glass negative archives, visit penobscotmarinemuseum.org.

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

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