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Searsport High School Students Launch Boats at Town Dock

Shellback Dinghy under construction by Searsport District High School students at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Hamilton Learning Center

Shellback Dinghy under construction by Searsport District High School students at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Hamilton Learning Center

At noon on Thursday, May 21, two Shellback Dinghies made by students at Searsport District High School will be launched into Searsport Harbor at the Town Dock.  The students have spent the past eighteen weeks building the dinghies with master boat builder Greg Rossel for their class Building a Shellback Dinghy: An Integrated Field Approach to Core Math & Science Standard.  As they build the boats, the students explore marine physics and engineering concepts, Newton’s laws of motion, traditional and modern wood working, chemical reactions, and navigation.  The class is  in its fourth year and is a collaboration between the Penobscot Marine Museum and the Searsport District High School.  It is held at Museum’s Hamilton Learning Center in Searsport.  The Shellback Dinghy which the students build is a small sail boat designed by E.B. White’s son Joel White.  After the launch the boats are sold and the proceeds used to fund the next year’s class.

Greg Rossel, who has been teaching boat building at WoodenBoat School for over twenty years, has help each week from community volunteers Fred Kircheis, Fred Schmidt, Bruce Brown, Rick Fitzsimmons, Rob Giffin, David Lawrence, Gerry Saunders, Pete Jenkins, and Dan Merrill.  Wayne Hamilton, owner of Hamilton Marine, teaches a navigation class, and the students travel to Camden to work with sailmaker Grant Gambell to make sails for the dinghies.   The class would not be possible without local businesses who donate time and materials: Gambell and Hunter Sailmakers, Hamilton Marine, Epifanes, Maine Coast Lumber, WoodenBoat Store, Chesapeake Light Craft, George Kirby Jr Paint Company.

Maine’s Largest Pinhole Camera

People check out the giant camera obsura constructed on at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport.  When the camera is complete, several people will be able to go inside to experience how the image is projected inside real-life cameras.   Gabor Degre | BDN

People check out the giant camera obsura constructed on at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport. When the camera is complete, several people will be able to go inside to experience how the image is projected inside real-life cameras. Gabor Degre | BDN

Photos and Text by Gabor Degre of The Bangor Daily News

Did you ever wonder how cameras work? With the marvel of digital equipment, it seems almost like magic. You push a button and the image appears instantly. Photo archivists with the Penobscot Marine MuseumKevin Johnson and Matt Wheeler came up with the idea of having a very large camera obscura built, allowing people to walk inside to experience first hand how the image is created and the basic concept of how cameras work.

Kevin Johnson (right) and Matt Wheeler photo archivists at the Penobscot Marine Museum pose for a portrait with a giant camera obsura that is constructed on the lawn of the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport. Gabor Degre | BDN

Kevin Johnson (right) and Matt Wheeler photo archivists at the Penobscot Marine Museum pose for a portrait with a giant camera obsura that is constructed on the lawn of the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport. Gabor Degre | BDN

The first written record about viewing an image like that dates back roughly 2,400 years in China. Later, Aristotle wrote about the use of the principal of the camera obscura , while observing a partial solar eclipse. In the 13th century Leonardo da Vinci gave a detailed description, and using a pinhole camera, in the mid-1820’s Joseph Niepce, a French inventor, captured the first known photograph on bitumen-coated metal plate.

You might be surprised that the principal of the camera remains the same today. With the advancement of technology, pinholes were replaced by lenses made of very high quality glass, to project a tack-sharp image. The recording of that image also went through several changes and now a computer captures the image with the aid of sensors, that replaced the light sensitive materials.

Read the full story at the Bangor Daily News.

Loraine Hamilton

Loraine Hamilton, 1948-2015

Loraine Hamilton, 1948-2015

Loraine Hamilton was a good friend and a long-time supporter of Penobscot Marine Museum’s educational programs. Thank you all so much for your donations to the Hamilton Learning Center in memory of Loraine Hamilton.

The Hamilton Learning Center enables Penobscot Marine Museum to host the students of Searsport District High School’s class “Building a Shellback Dinghy”, now in its 5th year!

For a description of this wonderful class go to
http://sdmhs.rsu20.org/home/bbp

Salted Tales: Stories From the Sea Told Live at Colonial Theater

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Salted Tales: Stories From the Sea Told Live at Colonial Theater was presented on March 29, 2015, but if you missed it you can watch the video or listen to the audio at WERU, Part 1, Part 2.

Coastal Maine’s rich maritime heritage has produced a lot of sailors and you don’t work on the water without accumulating good stories. Penobscot Marine Museum and Colonial Theater invite you to Salted Tales: Stories From the Sea Told Live at Colonial Theater on Sunday, March 29, 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

Hear working seamen and women tell hair-raising real-life sea stories of amazing experiences on the water, from fending off Somali pirates to putting out aircraft carrier fires. Each fast-paced story will be eight minutes long. Story tellers’ backgrounds range from the U.S. Navy to tug boat captain to commercial fisherman.

Salted Tales: Stories From the Sea Told Live is a joint presentation of the Colonial Theater and Penobscot Marine Museum. Refreshments will be available at intermission. Admission is $5, Penobscot Marine Museum members are free. For more information Click here, or call Mike Hurley 338-1975 or Kathy Goldner 548-2529 ext 216.

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Gigantic Walk-in Camera Planned for Penobscot Marine Museum’s 2015 Season

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A huge walk-in camera, designed by John Bielenberg and built by John Bielenberg and Richard Mann, is one of the many inter-active exhibits planned By Penobscot Marine Museum for this summer’s Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light.  This is the first major exhibition to feature the museum’s extensive historic photography collection of over 140,000 negatives, prints, slides, postcards and daguerreotypes.

The camera obscura is the precursor of our modern camera.  Its principles were used by the ancient Greeks to observe solar eclipses.  Inside the museum’s camera obscura, light sensitive paper will be available for visitors to take their own “photographs” from the projected image, and paper and pencils will be available for sketching the image, a technique used Leonardo da Vinci in the Renaissance.

PMM’s camera obscura; Horse in Winter, Round Image

PMM’s camera obscura; Horse in Winter, Round Image

Other exhibits in Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light include Museum Selfies taken by museum visitors; Visit an Antique Darkroom complete with a glass plate negative enlarger; Through Her Lens: Women Photographers of Mid-Coast Maine, 1890-1920; Twenty Best featuring the most fascinating photographs in the collection; Evolution of the Photographic Snapshot: 1888-2015, curated by retired photography professor Michael Simon; The Carters and the Lukes – Selections from the Red Boutilier Collection is an intimate portrait of two families of boat builders, one who built traditional wooden lobster boats for local fishermen and the other an innovator in the custom yacht business. These photographs, taken during the 1960’s and 1970’s, celebrate the uniquely Maine way of life of the Luke family in East Boothbay and the Carter family in Waldoboro. Photographer Red Boutilier captured an era in Maine boat building which set the standards for today’s Maine boat builders’ international reputation for excellence.

Included in the museum’s events will be a screening of the film The Maine Frontier: Through The Lens Of Isaac Walton Simpson.  Isaac Walton Simpson was a blacksmith, barber, musician, woodsman, mechanic, and father of thirteen children.  This live multimedia presentation uses film, Simpson’s photographs, oral histories and live music to illustrate the pioneering frontier culture of northern Maine at the turn-of-the-century, a pivotal time in Maine’s history.

Anonymous; Boy with Oranges, Buenos Aires, c. 1895-1916

Anonymous; Boy with Oranges, Buenos Aires, c. 1895-1916

Visitors to Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light will be able to take cyanotype-making workshops; pin-hole camera-making workshops; to see tin-type demonstrations and to have their own tin-type made.  Life-sized photographic backdrops in several exhibits will encourage visitors to take photographs of themselves “inside” historic photographs.

Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light is part of the Maine Photo Project (www.mainephotoproject.org), a year-long statewide celebration of photography in Maine.  This collaboration of twenty-six cultural organizations will offer exhibitions, a major publication, and a variety of programs exploring the state’s role as inspiration for photographers.

The Maine Frontier: Through The Lens Of Isaac Walton Simpson is made possible by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission.  Through Her Lens: Women Photographers of Mid-Coast Maine, 1890-1920 is made possible by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council.

Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light opens at Penobscot Marine Museum on May 23, 2015 and continues through October 18, 2015.   The Maine Frontier: Through The Lens Of Isaac Walton Simpson will be shown on Thursday, August 13, 7 p.m.

Benefit in Memory of Mike Stein

In memory of Penobscot Marine Museum’s beloved Board Member Dr. Mike Stein, and to celebrate his love of the water and boating, Jerri Finch has donated her beautiful painting West Fork to raise funds in his memory. The painting is oil on board, 9 1/2″ x 14 1/2″, and has a lovely wooden frame. Purchase your raffle tickets or make a donation in Mike’s memory online here. The drawing will be on December 15th at the museum.

Due to the closing of the Museum Shop and Framer in October, we have extended the raffle. The drawing has been rescheduled to Friday, August 28, 2015 at the museum.

For more info, click here.

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West Fork by Jerri Finch