Kevin Johnson, photo archivist for Searsport’s Penobscot Marine Museum, will present an illustrated talk titled Prospect: The Postcard View; Selections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company Monday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Prospect Community Center, 959 Bangor Road.

The slide show and talk will consist of the story of the postcard company, as well as the historical views of the Prospect and surrounding towns. 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 more than 50,000 glass plate negatives of New England and Upstate New York between 1909 and 1947.

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 60,000 images can now be viewed in the museum’s online database at For more information, call 567-3170.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or