Fall Foliage Monmouth Maine

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 

Bates 1940s Advertisement

Photo from a 1941 Bates sales pamphlet

In the 1940s, Bates began offering some of their bedspread styles as matching draperies. These matching bedspread and drapery sets were ideal for the college dorm room - the "perfect room mates." Students could outfit their dorm rooms to be a little more like home and express their own personal styles. Parents could feel good that Bates' quality products would last the four years away from home. There are several ads that were a part of this campaign throughout the next few years.
Fall '44: Advertisements featuring classy young women enjoying their matching bedspread and drapery sets.


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!"

Supporting Education Today

The Old Monmouth Academy Building in Monmouth, Maine.
Source: Kennebec Journal
Our commemorative Monmouth Academy Throw was woven to help raise money for the restoration and rebuilding of the original Monmouth Academy - our town's local public high school that dates back to 1803 and is one of our town's most iconic buildings.
Monmouth Academy Throw
Monmouth Academy Throw
Thank you for taking a tour through Bates history with us! What's your fondest back-to-school memory? Share it with us in the comments below. For more historical tidbits and vintage advertisements, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
August 01, 2023 — Adrienne Beacham

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.