|W.H. Bunting A Day's Work, Part 2, Tilbury House Publishing, 2000|
March 21. 1884.
Maine was a big supplier of wood spools for thread in the 1800s, When import tariffs were increased, the Scottish-owned thread companies opened winding mills in Rhode Island and New Jersey. With large stands of mature birch trees, Maine became the supplier of the required spools. By 1900, there were 18 spool mills turning out millions of spools on specialized lathes and other machines. These mills were, like most industry of the time, powered by steam engines, boiler inspections were not as rigorous are they later were and explosions were too common. In the picture above, the wrecked engine's stack and flywheel lie at right, with the base between them. Stacked spool wood is revealed in the dry shed at left. The mill, at right, was blown off its foundations. The boiler has vanished.
Taken from the book, A Day's Work by W.H. Bunting. In these books, the author has presented a series of Maine photographs from 1860-1920, thoroughly researched them and added the story behind each of them. A very interesting read.