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.

May 2024: Soldier’s Uniform Jacket

In honor of Memorial Day this month, our object for May is a soldier’s uniform jacket. While textile factories like Bates chiefly produced bedspreads along with a variety of other household linens, Lewiston’s industries also played a role in multiple war efforts. Starting during the American Civil War, when the North was experiencing a scarcity of slave-picked cotton, Bates (as the result of Benjamin Bates’ stockpiling before the war) continued producing cotton materials supplying Union soldiers. Less than half a century later, Bates supplied the U.S. Army with cotton fabric for the production of uniforms during both the first and second World Wars. Additionally, the Hill Mill, adjacent to Bates Mill No. 1 & 2, supplied materials such as nylon for parachutes during WWII.

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.

May 2024: Soldier’s Uniform Jacket

May 2024: Soldier’s Uniform Jacket

In honor of Memorial Day this month, our object for May is a soldier's uniform jacket. While textile factories like Bates chiefly produced bedspreads along with a variety of other household linens, Lewiston’s industries also played a role in multiple war efforts....

April 2024: The Creation of a Woven Bedspread

April 2024: The Creation of a Woven Bedspread

  Our April object of the month is this Bates educational poster titled "The Creation of a Woven Bedspread." Most likely from the 1950s, the poster provides a step-by-step guide to the intricate process of producing a bedspread from raw cotton. It covers each...

March 2024: Rosie the Riveter lunch box

March 2024: Rosie the Riveter lunch box

In honor of Women’s History Month, our object for March is a “Rosie the Riveter” lunch box currently on display in our 2024 exhibit, “Unseen Hands, The Hidden Elements of Labor.” Over the last several decades, J. Howard Miller’s design of a female worker dressed in a...

February 2024: Dye Tubes

February 2024: Dye Tubes

It's February, which means our 2024 gallery "Unseen Hands, The Hidden Elements of Labor" opened to the public! This month, we're highlighting dye tubes from the Bates Dyeing Facility, offering a glimpse at just one of the dozens of objects we have on display this...

January 2024:  Ward Bros. Womens Cloche Hat

January 2024: Ward Bros. Womens Cloche Hat

Our object of the month for January is this women’s cloche felt hat from the iconic Ward Bros. store once located on Lisbon Street. Founded by cousins Larry Ward and David Mersons, Ward’s was one of many stores owned and operated by Lewiston’s Jewish population. Wards...

December 2023:  Peck’s Department Store Christmas

December 2023: Peck’s Department Store Christmas

For December, we are highlighting these images of Peck’s Department store during the holiday season. At the time of its opening in 1899, Peck’s was considered the largest and most significant department store in Maine. During each Christmas Season, visitors from all...

November 2023: October 25 Memorial Item

November 2023: October 25 Memorial Item

Following the tragic events of October 25, 2023 Maine MILL began working with the City of Lewiston, the Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and artist Tanja Hollander to collect memorial items (such as candles, Lewiston Strong signage, posters, hearts,...

October 2023: Bates Fabriques Hockey Jersey

October 2023: Bates Fabriques Hockey Jersey

For the month of October, we’re featuring a Bates Fabriques Hockey jersey from the 1950s.  The Fabriques were just one of the many sports teams the Bates Manufacturing Company supported throughout its operation. There were several other textile manufacturers in the...

September 2023: Bates Mill Bedspread Commercial

September 2023: Bates Mill Bedspread Commercial

With back-to-school season in motion, our object of the month for September is this 1940s Bates dorm bedspread commercial featuring students from colleges and universities across the United States. The film introduces the Bates Mill marketing strategy of “College...

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