Collection + Exhibits
Object of the Month
Get a glimpse of the past with highlighted artifacts from the museum’s collection.
With more than 10,00 artifacts in our collection, there’s a lot to learn about. Come along with us as we unearth one item a month and take a deep dive into its use, significance, and any community stories connected to its history, meaning, or purpose.
From archival photographs to awards, manufacturing tools and inventions to locally made holiday ornaments from a once renown manufacturer—get a glimpse into the past, right now.
April 2023: Atherton Furniture Antique Plate
April’s object of the month is this 7-inch white plate with a green imprint of the great falls in Lewiston from the Atherton Furniture company. The plate was manufactured by Homer Laughlin China and was from the American Beauty line.
The Atherton Furniture company was started by LeBaron Artherton who came to the U.S. in 1897 from Canada. In 1900, he and a few partners purchased the failing B. A. Atkinson & Co. furniture store in Lewiston and transformed it into a successful furniture store chain. Lewiston was the first store and became the flagship of the chain which included nine other stores across Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. The flagship store was at 220 Lisbon Street and was 6 floors high with 42,000 square feet of furniture floor space. The store was most known for selling Glenwood ranges. The chain shut down in the 1980s after being in Lewiston for over 80 years.
Did you miss a past Object of The Month?
We’ve gone through a treasure trove of items from our collection over the years. Scroll through and see what you may have missed.
April 2023: Atherton Furniture Antique Plate
April's object of the month is this 7-inch white plate with a green imprint of the great falls in Lewiston from the Atherton Furniture company. The plate was manufactured by Homer Laughlin China and was from the American Beauty line. The Atherton Furniture company was...
March 2023: Women in the mills
In recognition of women’s history month, we are highlighting two photographs from our collection of women working in the mills. Women played a crucial role in the manufacturing history of Lewiston-Auburn. The textile mills provided women an opportunity for work...
February 2023: Bates Bedspread, Valentine’s Day Edition
This is a Bates bedspread with hearts and flowers on it. The bedspread is reversible: one side has flowers and hearts that are pink and white on a green background, the other side has flowers and hearts that are green and white on a pink background. This is one of the...
January 2023: Murphy’s Fur Coat
This month the museum is highlighting a Murphy’s fur coat. Murphy’s was a fur business started by T.J. Murphy in 1873 that had two locations in Lewiston: one on Ash street and one on Lisbon street. They became nationally known for their high quality and their direct...
December 2022: Bates Bedspread Snowman
To celebrate the holiday season, our December object of the month is this festive bedspread disguised as a snowman. Almost all of the bedspreads in our collection remain in their original condition, but this one was given new life, dressed up for the holidays, and...
November 2022: War Ration Booklet
With Veteran’s Day approaching later this month, our object of the month is a ration booklet held in our collection. As with many areas of life, the textile, brick, and shoemaking industries of the Androscoggin region felt the effects of WWII. For example, many mills...
October 2022: Bates Manufacturing Company Medal for Valued Service
This medal was awarded to the Bates Manufacturing Company in 1951 for 100 years of valued service. The Jordan Marsh Company bestowed this medal to the mills, “commemorating our New England centennial associates whose integrity of character and preservation of American...
September 2022: Mill Workers
In honor of Labor Day this month, the museum would like to recognize and honor the hard work and dedication of the mill workers of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These three undated photographs show mill workers at different parts of the textile making...
August 2022: Morin Brick Workers
This is a photograph from the 1930s of Morin Brick Workers. The son of French Canadian immigrants, John Morin and his family founded Morin Brick Co. in 1912. Using the clay-like soil of the Androscoggin region, Morin Brick made bricks that were used in the...
Help preserve Maine MILL artifacts
Antique and vintage items need a lot of maintenance to prolong their lifetime. Help us to preserve and care for these historical items and representations of our community’s history by donating today.