Above are the Stanley twins, Freelan and Francis. I can’t tell you which is which. They were identical, and even their close associates had trouble telling them apart. These photos (courtesy of the Stanley Museum) were taken in about 1875, a few years after Freelan graduated from the Farmington State Normal School. Here they are in their mid-twenties, still a couple decades away from inventing the Stanley Steamer, an early automobile that gained popularity and fame around the turn of the century. Before the years of Ford and mass production, the Stanley Twins were producing around 200 cars a year, and that was more than any other U.S. maker.
As part of our 150th Anniversary celebration at the University of Maine at Farmington I’m making displays each month at Mantor Library. I chose to start with the Stanley twins in September. Since then I’ve featured several more Normal School graduates, teachers and administrators. Through the years some wonderfully dedicated people have been part of the University of Maine at Farmington and its predecessor, the Farmington State Normal School. Look for more profiles here in the future.