February News
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Maine Ice Boating

By Cipperly Good, Richard Saltonstall Jr. Curator of Maritime History

Venture out to Maine’s lakes and ponds after the first prolonged freeze of the winter, or after the inevitable freeze/thaw cycle that is common in Maine, and you will find a fleet of sailboats on skates streaming across the icy expanse. With origins as cargo transports in the Baltic in the 17th century and the Netherlands in the 18th century, ice boats found a new function as recreational sporting craft in North America at the turn of the 19th century. Thanks to a new archival collection, the Richard Saltonstall Ice Boating Collection, we can explore the late 20th century evolution of the sport.

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Photo Archives News

Maynard Bray Collection: The Lost Allure of the Wooden Lobsterboat

By Matt Wheeler, Digital Collections Curator

Bray’s archived camera work is as much a catalog of style, tradition, and the evolution of design as it is a trove of images. This month, we’ve sifted through the collection for prime examples of wooden lobsterboats. These machines are seldom seen in the 21st century, having given way to fiberglass hulls, but during the wooden boat revival of the 1970s and 80s, they were a common site in yards and harbors along the New England coast. With a keen appreciation for both the functional and aesthetic in naval architecture, Maynard surveyed many of the working boats he encountered during his years shooting 35mm film. Most of these were black and white, since this was the photographer’s process of choice; as always, the absence of color subtracts some of the element of time from the photos, seeming to underscore their importance.

To view Maynard’s own selection of these photos, visit our Onsite with Maynard blog.

New Collection Depicts Rusticator Living in Brooklin, Maine

By Kevin Johnson, Photo Archivist

Last year, PMM received a donation of a fascinating collection of negatives taken by Parker "Pack" Dodge during the summers throughout his life in Brooklin, Maine. Dodge was born in 1884 in Washington, DC and worked as a patent attorney with a stint in the army during WWI. He spent summers in Brooklin beginning in his childhood and eventually retired there in 1967. He was an amateur photographer throughout his life, and his collection of nearly 1,000 large format negatives were donated to the museum by his grandson, John Dodge. We received two generous donations that will allow us to digitize and catalog the collection this year. Stay tuned!

Kosti Ruohomaa Collection: February 2024 Rollout

By Matt Wheeler, Digital Collections Curator

This month we are publishing two of Kosti's assignments from New Hampshire. We imagine that from his perspective, rural life in neighboring New Hampshire would have been essentially an extension of his own Maine backyard.

Deep in the winter of 1950, Kosti found his way to an unidentified lake and met the ice fishermen who had set up shacks for their immersive cold weather pastime. Kosti's images give us privileged interior views of these shelters . In one case, we see no room to stand; the shack serves one purpose only. In another, the owner has brought a rustic bed out onto the ice so he can rest in style, perhaps while he waits for a twitch on his tip-up.

It’s not known how Ruohomaa made the acquaintance of Emily Burns, a four-year old girl he photographed during her first visit to a large farm in Milford, New Hampshire. The photographer valued his young subjects as much as the adults he met, and seemed to draw inspiration from their typically unselfconscious and playful demeanor. This summer 1956 series follows Emily as she explores this bucolic setting: a picnic in the woods, a walk along a wide stream, the company of Holsteins, a view from atop a tractor, and popularity among hungry chickens as she scatters feed.

To view the new content, visit the museum’s Kosti Ruohomaa site.

The Phillips Collection at Work

By Kevin Johnson, Photo Archivist

It's been said that in the 1960s and 70s nearly every Maine camp was decorated with one of the Phillips maps, and PMM is honored to hold the Phillips Brothers Collection. Their unique style of map making has been explored in an article featured in the forthcoming issue of Cartographic Perspective. The article, "Drawing Maine: The Pictorial Maps of the Phillips Brothers," was authored by cartographer Ben Meader, and takes an in depth look at a number of the Phillips maps and discusses what makes them stand out.  

The Phillips Collection is also the subject of the blog Postcards from Gus which is researched and authored by Cathy Jewitt, John Meader and Ben Meader. It's described as a modern travelogue. Each post explores a place the Phillips made maps and postcards. Their most recent post is an especially exciting one as it highlights a postcard map made in 1963 about the total eclipse of the sun that took place that year. Sixty years later another eclipse is coming and John created a "new" map in the Phillips spirit. Learn all about the eclipses and the postcards commemorating them here

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Summer 2024 Paid internships

Penobscot Marine Museum is accepting applications for two paid summer 2024 internships! We’re looking for a local high school or early college student for our Geiger Museum Exploration Internship. Find out more here. We’re also hiring a college or graduate school student for our Museum Education/Interpretation Internship. Click here for more information. Both internships provide hands-on work experience in the daily operations of a medium-sized museum, including activities in different departments and working as a member of the front line staff. They’re fun, educational, and paid. Please share this information with anyone who might be interested.

Business Members

Thank you to Americas' Wood Company, Searsport Shores Oceanfront Camping, DownEast Auctions and Portland Yacht Services for showing their support of the work we do here at PMM with their business membership!

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