About five years ago, while in New Jersey, Richard Burton stumbled upon hundreds of images of Vinalhaven, Maine.

“There were 50 rolls of 35mm film in two metal boxes,” Burton said. “One box was marked ‘Vinal.’”

The dealer at the flea market who sold the photos to Burton said he had found them at an auction. The pictures were taken by an unknown photographer Burton believes was a tourist to the island in 1936.

The images show fishermen from nearly a century ago taking to the Penobscot Bay waters in search of lobster and cod. The images show the same fishermen living out their daily lives, salting fish, repairing wagons and walking the countryside.

Burton said on his Flickr page, where the photos are published, the several hundred negatives were very time consuming to scan.

“They seem to be mostly fishing villages, pink granite quarries, lobster and other fishing photos, old fishing shacks and shorelines,” Burton wrote.

This was Burton’s first attempt to scan negative rolls of film and the rolls were numbered one through 50. Burton said he assumed this was the case because all the photos on the same film roll were taken in the same place, Vinalhaven.

Maine life, especially during the early 20th century, has never been described as easy. The collection of photos reinforces Maine’s hard-working, seafaring heritage and a way of life that, because of images like these, will be preserved.

Brian Feulner

Brian Feulner is the visual editor at the Bangor Daily News and a photographer in the state of Maine. Feulner frequently freelances for a variety of publications and companies and operates Feulner Studio...