Postcards, ephemera, ‘old and curious things’

Sep 03, 2017
A vintage postcard depicts Rockland’s Main Street, Syndicate Block on the left and Berry Block on the right, in the days when trolleys dodged carriages.

Rockland — Rockland Historical Society’s Postcard and Ephemera Show and Sale will be held Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rockland Congregational Church, 180 Limerock St.

Admission is $3 for the annual destination for those who collect old postcards, old maps, old advertisements, old magazines, books about local history and other old and curious things.

As an early tourist destination, Maine is a gold mine for postcard collectors. In 1916, Gov. Oakley Curtis declared April 19th to be Post Card Day and asked each Maine resident to mail six postcards to friends and relatives inviting them to visit Maine for a vacation. Seven years earlier, Rockland native Herman Cassens founded the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company in Belfast, with the goal of photographing every town from Maine to California to create souvenir postcards for tourists. Cassens never got much farther than New England and Upstate New York, but the result of his photographers’ work and Gov. Curtis’ declaration is a wealth of real postcard images of the small towns of Maine.

Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport has a large collection of the original glass plate negatives from the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company, and it will be selling reproduction postcards and large photograph prints of Maine scenes made from those negatives. Postcard dealers will be selling thousands of old postcards and other paper items. Rockland Historical Society will be selling books on local history and more, as well as taking orders for beautiful reproductions of the 1855 Map of Rockland.

The historical society will also be selling sandwiches, homemade cookie, and coffee. The postcard show is the Rockland Historical Society’s main fundraising event of the year.

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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