A presentation on glass plate negatives is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, at the Hubbard Free Library in Hallowell. Shown is Vaughan Brook. Penobscot Marine Museum

HALLOWELL — Before film negatives and Kodachrome slides, chemists with an eye for composing a picture created historic images on glass plates. These plates allowed photographers to capture finely detailed glimpses of life, but it wasn’t easy, according to a news release from Bob McIntire with the Historic Hallowell Committee.

R. Herman Cassens of Eastern Illustration and Publishing Company in Belfast is in front of the car. Behind the car, from left, are his brother Fred Cassens and Horace Ellingwood. Penobscot Marine Museum

Kevin Johnson, photo archivist at the Penobscot Marine Museum, knows a lot about glass plate negatives, especially those created by the photographers at the Eastern Illustration and Publishing Company in Belfast.

He plans to share his knowledge at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22, during a presentation in the Hubbard Free Library, 115 Second St.

Old Hallowell will be in the spotlight. Twenty-eight photos are of the Granite City and its surroundings. The program is presented by Row House, Hallowell’s historical society, the Historic Hallowell Committee and the Hubbard Library, which is exhibiting select photographs from its collection.

A glass plate negative for a 4- by 5-inch picture weighs about 3.5 ounces. Photographers from Eastern Publishing produced more than 35,000 of these — nearly 4 tons of photographs. All these negatives were given to the Maine Photographic Workshop in Rockport, where Johnson attended and then joined the staff as an intern.

For more information, contact McIntire at [email protected] or 207-592-4718.



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