Ben Fuller, curator at Searsport’s Penobscot Marine Museum, will discuss Atlantic Fisherman, the changes to the fishing industry that engines engendered and the museum’s archives of Atlantic Fisherman materials Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Ave./Route 3.

Fuller’s talk, Digging Deeper into the Atlantic Fisherman Collection, will elaborate on an exhibit of photographs from the collection on display through April 30 at the Center. Both the exhibit and the talk are free.

According to Fuller, it was the birth of the internal-combustion marine engine that gave rise to the modern fishing industry and that, in quick turn, saw the creation of Atlantic Fisherman, a newspaper for commercial fishermen. Billed as “a farm journal for Harvesters of the Sea,” Atlantic Fisherman was founded in 1919 as a newspaper for “the men who actually fish for a living.” The paper’s original focus was on the Northeast states. Through a series of repositionings and acquisitions, it eventually became National Fisherman, which is still in publication serving a national audience.

Marine engines created a market for new types of fishing gear, said Fuller. Producing fishing equipment became a bigger, more capital-intensive business, and manufacturers needed to advertise. Atlantic Fisherman was founded to satisfy that demand. While serving as an advertising vehicle, the newspaper also served its readers with useful articles on the latest fishing techniques, gear, regulations and other news.

Penobscot Marine Museum’s Atlantic Fisherman archives contain more than 1,000 photographic prints and negatives, original copies of the newspaper and other materials from 1919 to the 1950s. For more information, visit or call 548-2529.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to