What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 29 weeks ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 32 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 32 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 41 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 42 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 50 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
3 years 5 hours ago
More in Columns
This is the envelope that was provided with the promotional stationery. The recipient’s name and address were written in the middle of Lake Pennesseewassee.
A few weeks ago “Yesterdays” featured a four-page, single-fold piece of stationery, apparently designed to help draw visitors to Norway.
It was printed in 1923 by “The Board of Trade, Norway Maine,” but the most interesting piece of information we have to date is that the idea and the photos used in the piece were provided by Vivian Akers.
The front and back pages of the stationery featured Akers’ photos of Lake Pennesseewassee, which filled about a third of the 11” by 17” pages. The remainder of both pages was left blank for letter writing.
Page two contained the photo of Norway’s Main Street, as seen above and a message inviting guests to visit.
Page three spotlighted other photos of the paved streets and provided additional blank space for the letter.
The bottom right hand corner of each page featured the trade board logo.
Thanks to local history buff David Sanderson of East Waterford, we can now share the “rest of the story” with our readers.
Here’s part of what David wrote:
“The BOT [Board of Trade] was formed in 1903 - see the Whitman history of Norway - and was like today's chambers of commerce. This 1923 stationary/brochure piece is one of its most ambitious pieces of promotion, I think. It also represents a pretty original idea from Vivian Akers.
[NOTE: For those of you who would like more information on Vivian Akers(noted Norway artist-photographer, who lived from 1886 until 1966), David wrote an interesting which can be found at http://www.dwsanderson.com/akers_biography/akers_bio.htm]
“During the 1920s Akers seems to have concentrated on photography as a way to make a living, having found that painting would not do. He ran a revealing display ad in the Advertiser at the end of 1922:
"PORTRAITS" After having the Summer and Fall of 1922 painting, I find it will be better judgment to make photographs for a while -- in other words -- I made a mistake in my plans.
“’Perhaps you have miscalculated in times past, if you haven't you have done well.
“’So here goes for 1923 -- portraits and photographs -- I will soon have some most interesting work to show you.’
“So the piece he convinced the Board of Trade to produce fits right in,” David continued.
“The effusive newspaper article announcing it dates from June 1923, just the thing to have for summer visitors. It is a four-page brochure, with text on the back page by Hugh Pendexter, and photos of Norway and environs heading the other pages.
“What is unique about it is that it is intended to be used as stationery, and includes an envelope with a photo of Pennesseewassee from the hill above what is now the Norway Lake Rest Area. Inside is another photo from the lake shore beneath, a view that Akers photographed and painted all his life - the spot should certainly now be called the Vivian Akers Memorial Rest Area.
“The idea of a promotional brochure that would function as stationary was pretty bold, it seems to me, and the discussions of it as the Board of Trade contemplated the idea must have been interesting. But this was a period when energetic self-promotion by small cities and towns was very much in fashion - a few years after this, when Mellie Dunham brought Norway to the national consciousness, there was great excitement at what this could do for the town: "Mellie Boomed Norway" a parade sign announced.
“And Akers once again got his hand in, with handouts promoting Norway that went to all the theaters where the Dunhams appeared - 50,000 were printed.
“We do not know how successful the promotion was, though I do have copies of two less ambitious pieces of the same type, both done by Akers somewhat later. Almost certainly Akers himself was pleased to be able to turn his talents to a project of some significance.”
Our sincere thanks to Donita St. John who provided the stationery originally and, as always, to David Sanderson, who was kind enough to share his knowledge with us.
If you have an older local photo, postcard or trading card you’d like to share - we‘d love to hear from you. We are bit hard to reach by phone at times, so you might try an email or dropping your info off at the Advertiser and we’ll pick it up.
Please email photos or information to email@example.com, snail mail to Susan Arena, Yesterdays, Advertiser Democrat, 1 Pike‘s Hill, Norway, ME 04268, call me at 743-0363 or drop off your information at the Advertiser office (1 Pikes Hill, Advertiser Square, Norway) between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. If it is more convenient, there is a drop box, located outside the front door in which you can leave photos or information when the office is closed; please include your name, phone number and any information you have about the photo.