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The Watchers, Watched: 1940

The Watchers, Watched: 1940

October 1940. "Spectators at the annual barrel rolling contest in Presque Isle, Maine." 35mm nitrate negative by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Presque Isle's Finest

Presque Isle, Maine is pretty close to the end of the road. Way, way up in northern Maine, beyond the northern terminus of I-95. Even today, the roughly 400 mile drive from Boston would take a good 7-8 hours, assuming you kept moving and didn't hit a moose along the way. In 1940, when US Route 1 was the only way to get there, it could easily have taken a couple of days.

Yet, there she is. Up there in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but potato farms and the Great North Woods, sits a stunning vision of beauty, a girl any 12-year old boy would easily and quite happily fall hopelessly, eternally in love with. My goodness!


For Mainers those ARE smiles. They are practically grinning!


Re: "Nobody is smiling." What do you mean? My maternal family is from Maine and Vermont. They ARE smiling!

You lookin' at us?

It's hard to tell which unsmiling expression is more interesting -- the curious girl's, the disgusted woman's, the bemused man's or the very alert dog's.

Pretty Blonde

I speculate the young lady will be breaking the hearts of some returning soldiers in a few years.


I wonder if that little girl grew up to be Kim Novak or Eva Marie Saint.

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