New Images Added to Historic Photo Collection

Penobscot Marine Museum has added 18 glass-plate negatives to the Charles R. Coombs photography collection, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Frank Coombs of Belfast. The negatives, in large 8.5″x7″ and 8″x10″ formats, primarily depict Belfast and Belmont scenes.

Charles R. Coombs (1862-1940) was a furniture dealer, undertaker, taxidermist, and mayor of Belfast. An avid amateur photographer, he took hundreds of photos of Belfast and surrounding towns. Penobscot Marine Museum acquired the collection, containing more than 700 negatives, from the estate of Charles’ son, Horace Coombs, in 2000.

Frank Coombs, a grand-nephew of Charles, maintains the Facebook page “You Know You’re From Belfast, Maine If….” Just a few weeks ago, Frank was contacted by an acquaintance who offered to sell him a number of Charles Coombs negatives that Horace had given him many years ago. Frank jumped at the chance, determining immediately to donate them to the Coombs collection at Penobscot Marine Museum. As soon as the deal was completed, he drove to Searsport with his wife, Bobbie, holding the fragile negatives in her lap. “He drove more carefully today than when he took me to the hospital when I was delivering,” she told us when they came in with their wonderful gift to our collections.

To search the entire Coombs photography collection, click here. (Enter “Coombs” in the search field and you’ll get 1400 images!)