Thompson Free Library to host Dover-Foxcroft: The Postcard View
DOVER-FOXCROFT — Kevin Johnson, photo archivist for the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, will present “Dover-Foxcroft: The Postcard View; Selections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company” live via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20 as part of the Thompson Free Library’s Maine Bicentennial Speaker Series. The slide show and talk will consist of the story of the postcard company as well as the historical views of Dover-Foxcroft as well as Milo. This event is free and open to the public. Please visit the Thompson Free Library website www.thompson.lib.me.us or call 207-564-3350 for information about how to participate.
The Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company was founded in 1909 in Belfast by Rudolph Herman Cassens. Cassens’ goal was to photograph small towns and rural areas from Maine to California, producing “real photo” postcards that would be valued for promoting tourism. Cassens did not fulfill his dream of photographing the entire country, but his company did produce over 50,000 glass plate negatives of New England and Upstate New York between 1909 and 1947. The collection is full of historic businesses, family homes and local landmarks.
The images are fascinating on many levels. They take viewers back in time to when the roads were still dirt, horse drawn carriages outnumbered cars, coastlines were undeveloped, and elms lined the streets. The collection is now part of the archives of the Penobscot Marine Museum and continues to grow as more negatives that “escaped” from the collection are located and acquired. The collection is being digitized and more than 100,0000 thousand images can now be viewed on the museum’s website in their online database www.PenobscotMarineMuseum.org. The collection was featured in “Maine On Glass,” authored by Earle Shettleworth, William H. Bunting and Kevin Johnson and published by Tilbury House in 2016. A documentary film, the “Northeast By Eastern”, was made by Wiscasset filmmaker Sumner McKane, also in 2016.