Lobster Eating Contest

Around 1950, Ruohomaa photographed a number of adolescent contestants in a lobster eating contest at the July Lobster Festival in Rockland. The winner, Arthur Doherty, ate his lobster in just 7½ minutes. As part of the same series, he captured family and friends—notably his young cousin Bobby Lofman and his Rockville neighbor, farmer Stanley Powell—engaged in the same messy and delectable task.

Ruohomaa enjoyed the process of highlighting this Maine culinary and cultural tradition. Lobster is an unusual food which takes a little bit of knowledge and skill to enjoy properly. He also enjoyed photographing people in humorous and disarming circumstances, catching a glimpse of unselfconscious humanity.