Adam P. Leighton House

Built in 1903, the Adam P. Leighton house is a fine example of Colonial Revival architecture in Portland, Maine.

Leighton, who is considered the father of the American postcard industry, also served as the Mayor of Portland from 1908-1909.

It was built by prominent local architect Frederick A. Tompson, who also designed the nearby West Mansion.

After being hired at the Chisholm Brothers bookstore in 1867 for $5 per wee, Leighton was promoted to manager by 1872. He produced and distributed lithographed viewbooks in throughout the country and Canada.

These eventually evolved into postcards, which didn’t really catch on until the World Columbia Exhibition in 1893. At the time, it cost a ton to produce color postcards, so Leighton traveled to Germany and struck a more affordable deal for better quality product.

Leighton’s business, Leighton & Frey Souvenir View Company, grew quickly. He was a huge part of Portland, becoming vice president and director of three banks, partnership in four industries and he was elected to numerous offices.

With his son, Hugh, he formed the Hugh. C. Leighton Company in 1904, which became the biggest postcard manufacturer for years.

The Adam Leighton House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

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