The Stanleys and the Normal School

ImageAbove 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.


About Luann Yetter

Luann Yetter is the author of Bar Habor in the Roaring Twenties, Portland's Past and Remembering Franklin County, all published by the History Press. She is a writing instructor at the University of Maine at Farmington. She has had a life-long interest in social history beginning with a steady diet of Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a little girl in the Midwest. She now lives in an 18th century house in a small town in Maine and loves to "time travel" when she writes.
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