100 Years Ago: 1921

Many local typists gathered at the Maine School of Commerce rooms in Auburn Wednesday to witness the remarkable performance of Howard G. Pfrommer, “speed king” of the typewriter. Mr. Pfrommer demonstrated that the typewriter is easily one of the greatest assets to business men that has ever been invented. The dexterity and lightning speed he displayed while typing upwards of 153 words per minute, and carrying on an intelligent conversation at the same time convinced the spectators that there was efficiency plus.

50 Years Ago: 1971

The year’s first major woods fire in Lewiston kept L-A fire department crews busy for five hot hours in a large section of wooded land off the Cottage Road Wednesday afternoon. Units from surrounding communities as well as the State Forestry Department and Androscoggin County Civil Defense unit participated in the battle against wind. A fanned blaze which swept more than fifty acres of woodland ordering a logging development. The state forestry service airplane was flown in from Windham and could be seen dumping water and chemicals in an attempt to bring the blaze under control.

25 Years Ago: 1996

The co-owner of an Aurora-based demolition firm has purchased the historic W.S. Libbey Mill for $26,000 and plans to demolish most of the complex over the next two years. Michael Hamlin, also a contractor, purchased the 161-year-old mill from Peoples Heritage Bank, which had taken the property after its prior owner moved the textile operation south. The contractor said he’s still unsure about his plans for the property, but said he’s considering donating the land to the city in lieu of about $228,000 in back taxes or building condominiums on it. He said he plans to preserve two buildings at the rear of the complex, the former home of the W.S. Libbey Co. textile firm, but said there’s not enough incentive to redevelop it. “This is a new area for us,” said Hamlin, owner of H & B Demolition Contractors Inc. “We’re sinking a lot of money into it and we hope we get a lot of money back.” City officials are prepared to issue the contractor a demolition permit, but say they still want a plan in place for the payment of back taxes. They also want an agreement that Hamlin will demolish the whole building, rather than leave an empty shell.

The material used in Looking Back is produced exactly as it originally appeared although misspellings and errors may be corrected.

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