Bates Back to School: A History
Fall foliage in Monmouth Maine, current home to Bates Mill Store and manufacturing facility.
Although we still have some beautiful, warm summer days left in Maine, August starts bringing in those crisp mornings that remind us fall is around the corner! Whether it fills you with excitement or dread, the fall season often ushers in thoughts and plans for returning to the classroom. Today, we're sharing some of our favorite Bates back-to-school advertisements and stories from the past.
A clever cover for a Bates sales pamphlet in Fall '44.
Bates College of Lewiston, Maine
Bates College in 1906. Source: Wikipedia
Located just down the road from the original Bates Mill Complex, Bates College is a private, liberal arts college and one of Maine's best. The founder of Bates Manufacturing Co., Benjamin Bates, co-founded the college in 1855. Over the next few years, Bates' donations to the college valued over $250,000 and the college was renamed "Bates College" in his honor in 1863. Bates College was the first coeducational college in New England, going on to confer the first female undergraduate degree in the area.
The Perfect Room Mates
Photo from a 1941 Bates sales pamphlet
President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush
One of our most prized advertisements in Bates history is the one below featuring President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush while they were still college students. Unbeknownst to Bates at the time of the ad campaign in 1948, this couple would later become the president and first lady of the United States.
"The Room that Came to School in a Trunk! College Tested, College Approved!"