MAINE COFFEE AND SPICE MILLS ADVERTISING ALBUMEN PHOTOGRAPH
This is a mammoth sized albumen photograph depicting Twitchell, Champlin & Co., which was located
at "252 - 254 Commercial Street, at the head of Merrill’s Wharf. This wholesale grocer was owned by
John Q. Twitchell and James P. Champlin." (source: Maine Historical Society website)
What’s unique is the bright lettering which turns this into a homemade advertisement, rather than a
The content of the photograph is fascinating. There are three signs announcing "TWITCHELL, CHAMPLIN
& CO." One faces each street and one is at the top of the building.
There are the letters "…OUR" at the far left of the frame. The first covered wagon (left) has a
large elaborate abstract emblem. There’s a horse and a man sitting in the wagon. The second horse
and wagon has a logo and "W.L. Wilson & Co." on the side. There are a bunch of men standing in
front of a small "Twitchell, Champlin & Co." sign, with numbers indicating 175 - 177 and "Grocers"
partially visible. The third wagon is neatly painted "Small & Ricker. Provisions. Groceries. 551
Danforth St." Then, a group of men, 2 white horses, and a wooden wagon. Finally, a uniformed man
(probably a policeman) and the last long wagon.
THE WINDOWS. There is a man sitting sideways straddling the window frame with one leg out. The next
window features two women. Further to the right, there’s a person hidden in the shadows.
Please note the telegraph pole and the train tracks. Great piece of Americana!
FRAME. This is the original frame. However, we contracted a high-end framer to put new glass on it,
and to tighten up the frame.
SIZE. Photo: Approximately 10 x 13 1/8 inches. Frame: Approximately 23 3/4 x 18 1/2 inches.
CONDITION. Photo: Brown stains on the building. Light soiling in sky. Missing tip of lower left
corner. Border: Soiling and stains. Frame: Some nicks and chips. But overall, good condition and
APPEARANCE. Very good tones The actual piece is sharper than depicted in our scans. Lots of content
and signage. Great composition.
© Greg French Early Photography All rights reserved.