Watch This 1947 Film That Taught Kids in America About Maine
I am a huge history buff, especially Maine history. If someone invented a time traveling DeLorean, the first place I'd go to is the 40s, the decade my parents were born in. I've always wondered what it would have been like in the era of passenger rail, street cars, downtown shopping and a Maine that was a little less crowded than it is today.
Since 2015 has come and gone and a time traveling DeLorean didn't show up, I found the next best thing.
Periscope Film has a library of stock footage and historical films and they've shared some of them on their YouTube channel. One of them that was posted recently is a film about Maine that was shown in schools all across the country as part of a series called "This Land of Ours" originally produced by Dudley Pictures Corporation in 1947. I remember seeing films like this in class as a kid because schools used them well into the 1970s.
When you watch this film, you'll see familiar sites in cities such as Augusta, Lewiston, Auburn, Portland, Brunswick and Bangor, as well as a look at the University of Maine campus in Orono. They all look familiar, yet have seen a lot of change in nearly 75 years. Portland for instance was a lot less developed than it is today.
The sad part about the film is that it highlights Maine's manufacturing and agricultural industries, many of which are no longer thriving in Maine as they were in the 40s. They've either moved overseas or to other states.
This was a different time. The era my parents grew up in and someday Doc and Marty are going to land the DeLorean in my front yard and take me back for a visit. I swear it.