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Hancock County through Eastern’s Eye

Posted Jan. 08, 2014, at 1:10 p.m.

Thursday, January 9 to Friday, February 28, 2014; 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Mount Desert Island Historical Society, 373 Sound Dr./Route 198, Mount Desert, ME

Contact: Time Garrity; 207-276-9323

The Mount Desert Island Historical Society will host a Penobscot Marine Museum exhibit called “Hancock County through Eastern’s Eye,” a selection of postcard images from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. collection. The exhibit features late 19th and early 20th-century photographs of towns and villages in Hancock County, Maine. Captions for the images were researched and composed by over twenty local historical societies, libraries, and individuals. The exhibit will be on display at the Sound School House, 373 Sound Drive/Route 198, Mount Desert, Maine, beginning with an opening reception from 4:30 to 6:00 pm on Thursday, January 9, 2014. The exhibit will be open from 10 to 4, Monday through Friday through February 28, 2014. Later the exhibit will travel to other parts of Hancock County.

At the turn of the 20th century, postcards were the absolute rage. They were used in a similar fashion as emails and text messages are used today. The photo postcards are rich in detail and capture a magical time in our country’s history when the automobile became the new mode of travel, immigrants were arriving in droves, and tourists began venturing outside the big cities.

An archive of 35,000 glass plate and film negatives of the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Collection arrived at Penobscot Marine Museum in 2007, after it was rescued from a flood at its previous home in Rockport. The collection is actively being processed and archived and has actually grown as thousands of negatives that “escaped” over the years have been recovered. Now approaching 50,000 negatives, the Eastern collection includes scenes not only of Maine but of the rest of New England and upstate New York as well. In 2011, PMM launched its online database making this collection (and others) freely available to the word for research, education, and the simple pleasure that viewing these wonderful images can bring.

The mission of the Penobscot Marine Museum is to preserve, interpret and celebrate the maritime culture of the Penobscot Bay region and beyond through collections, education, and community engagement. For more information contact Kevin Johnson, Photo Archivist at 207-548-2529(extension #210) or kjohnson@pmm-maine.org.

The Mount Desert Island Historical Society works collaboratively with many organizations to keep, discover, and celebrate the history of Mount Desert Island. For more information, contact Executive Director Tim Garrity at 207-276-9323 or via email at tim.garrity@mdihistory.org.

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