George French Collection
George Washington French (1882-1970) was born in Kezar Falls, Maine to John F. (1851-1926) and Francena (Towel) French (1860-1950). George was the second of four children. His older brother William R. (1879-1953) known as Will, was a Maine Guide. He also had a younger sister Mabel D. Bragdon and a younger brother Earnest “Ern” (1891-1916). He attended Parsonsfield Seminary, Bridgton Academy, and Bates College where he excelled as an athlete. He taught and coached at Deerfield and Monson academies. In the summer of 1911, he married Margaret B. Sears in Hawley, Massachusetts. They had two children Donald Sears (1912-1996) and Barbara Louise (1915-). During this time he worked as an executive for the Boy Scouts of America.
In the early 1920s the family relocated to New Jersey. In 1922 he decided to devote all of his time to his greatest interest, photography. For many years his photographs won awards and were printed on calendars and as greeting cards. In 1936 he became the official photographer for the Maine Development Commission.
The Collection consists of approximately 8,000 black and white negatives varying in size from 2 1/4"x3 1/4" to 8"x10" with a mixture of acetate and glass. Also approximately 400 to 500 color transparencies varying in size from 2 1/4" x3 1/4" to 5"x7", all total about 7.5 cubic feet
- 1900 - 1961
75 Linear Feet (103 containers)
Language of Materials
Bibliography of publication of images from Collection
- Berta, Bob. “Maine's Covered Bridge: A State Treasure.” Maine: The Magazine of Maine's Treasure, Aug. 1985, pp. 18–25.
- Caldwell, Bill. “Capturing Maine with a Camera.” Maine Sunday Telegram, 31 May 1981, p. 5.
- Hartt, Wendell F. “An Embarrassing Time Haying in the ‘Roaring Twenties.’” Maine: The Magazine of Maine's Treasures, July 1985, pp. 15–16.
- Doherty, Jim. “Claws.” Smithsonian, Oct. 1997, pp. 46–55.
- French, George W. “Maine -- The Way Life Once Was: A Nostalgic Look at Mid-Century Maine.” Bates: The Alumni Magazine, 1996, pp. 16–23.
- WoodenBoat: The Magazine for Wooden Boat Owners, Builders and Designers. “Fishing in Maine.” Postcard.
- Maine State Museum, editor. “Broadside.” Broadside, 1987, p. 1.
- Nason, Tym, editor. “Wendell Berry in Maine.” The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, 1978.
- Reynolds, Rhonda R. “The Best Place in the World to Live: Reflections about a Place Called ‘Tough End’ A Typically Rural Maine Community.” Maine: The Magazine of Maine's Treasure, June 1985, pp. 37–39.
- Thomas, Davis. “The Way We Were.” Down East: The Magazine of Maine, Aug. 1984, pp. 98–103.
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