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Historic Washington County Photographs Subject of Illustrated Talk at Steuben Library

Posted March 27, 2013, at 11:55 a.m.
Last modified April 11, 2013, at 11:22 a.m.

Saturday, April 20, 2013 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Location: Henry D. Moore Parish House and Library, 22 Village Road, Steuben, ME

For more information: Jeanne Benedict; 207-546-7301; moorelibrary.org

Historic Washington County Photographs

The Henry D. Moore Library in Steuben is pleased to host an exhibit of historic Washington County photographs from the Penobscot Marine Museum’s collection opening April 1st. “Washington County Through Eastern’s Eye” is drawn from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company collection, based on glass plate negatives shot from 1909 through the 1950s for use as photo postcards. The museum has more than 50,000 glass plate negatives of one-of-a-kind images of farms, industries, small businesses, stores, bridges, schools, and other “ordinary scenes.” The Washington County exhibit follows the highly successful Waldo and Knox County exhibits and will be on display through the month of April.

KEVIN JOHNSON, CURATOR AND PHOTO ARCHIVIST FOR THE COLLECTION, WILL GIVE AN ILLUSTRATED TALK ON THE WASHINGTON COUNTY PHOTOS AT A RECEPTION WITH LIGHT REFRESHMENTS ON SATURDAY, APRIL 20TH FROM 6:30-7:30PM.

This is the second stop for the exhibit which opened in Cherryfield in February. The exhibit features 33 framed prints with captions, and a companion “virtual exhibit” will feature dozens more photos and captions on the museum’s website. Research for the exhibit was conducted by PMM volunteer Liz Fitsimmons who worked with individuals and historical societies from virtually every Washington County community. The exhibit was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and will be the first of four county exhibits the museum will produce.

The Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company photos, taken a century ago, are aesthetically beautiful to view and are fascinating on many levels for the history and sense of place that they convey. The founder of the company sent his crews with their box cameras into tiny towns all over the region, instructing them to ask local citizens what was important about their town. This is a unique feature of the Eastern collection, giving it great breadth and authenticity. The collection is a survey of what nearly every New England town looked like in the first of half the 20th century.

The Eastern collection is the largest single photographic collection in Maine, consisting of nearly 50,000 images of Maine and the rest of New England and upstate New York. Most of the photos are on glass-plate negatives. The museum is raising funds to acquire more of Eastern’s negatives, and have recently added a searchable database online on their website which includes nearly 30,000 Eastern Illustrating photographs. Photo prints are available from the museum, with proceeds from their sale going to expand the collection.

The exhibit will be open April 1 – 26 during library hours, at the Henry D. Moore Library, 22 Village Road, Steuben. Call 546-7301 for more information or visit our website at www.moorelibrary.org

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