M-322: Dr. Allen B. and Helen S. Shopmaker American Political Collection

The Shopmaker Collection contains over three thousand items ranging from a George Washington token dated 1789 to buttons and textiles endorsing candidates in the 2008 election. The variety of objects reflects the changing tastes of the American public and the available production technologies, ranging from 19th century brass jewelry and clothing buttons embossed with candidate's names and party symbols to today's modern, mass-produced buttons, and from porcelain plates embellished with a portrait of First Lady Helen Taft to Nancy Reagan paper dolls. With artifacts representing nearly every American election, the Shopmaker Collection provides the viewer with a broad look at how candidates have used images, slogans and symbols to woo the public, and how the public has expressed its own, often outspoken, opinions on both individuals and issues.
St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum


"A Clean Sweep" Button
Button with an image of a rooster with a broom. Surrounding the rooster, text reads "A CLEAN SWEEP". The rooster references the former symbol of the Democratic Party.
"A Full Dinner Bucket" Button
1 and 1/4-inch round pin back button with image of a white metal dinner bucket over a blue background. Text on a cup on the top of the bucket reads "EMPLOYMENT FOR LABOR". Text on the lid of the bucket reads "A FULL DINNER BUCKET". Across the front of the bucket is a gold oval containing black and white portraits of William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Text on the handle reads "PROSPERITY". Text on the bottom of the bucket reads "Sound Money - Good Markets". Button has paper label on reverse for Allied Printing Trades Council of Newark and The Whitehead & Hoag Co.
"Bet on Bush" Bubble Gum Cigar Set
Set of bubble gum cigars in red, white, and blue designed box (6.25" x 5.25" x 1.5") that features a black and white portrait of George H. W. Bush to promote Bush's 1988 presidential campaign. Produced by Swell Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation.
"Campaign '88, Dukakis For President" Cigarette Pack
Pack of cigarettes (3.5"x2.25"x.75") featuring a blue profile portrait of Michael Dukakis to promote his 1988 presidential candidacy. A red, white and blue stripe flows behind Dukakis’s head.
"Carpenters and Hillary" T-shirt
Blue cotton t-shirt with "Carpenters & Hilary 2016" in red, white, and blue using Clinton's signature arrow design on the chest. The back of the t-shirt has the same symbol with the words "Building a Strong America" in white. Produced and distributed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
"Clinton for President" Bubble Gum Cigar
Bubble gum cigar with the words "Clinton For President" written on the wrapper in white. Produced by Swell Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation.
"Ford or Carter" Brochure
White paper brochure. The front is red with white text reading "Ford or Carter". Inside is a black and white picture of Ford. The next two pages contain red text with black headlines praising Ford and providing negative statements about Carter. The back reads "How do you choose?" and "Ford, He's making us proud again." This brochure was produced by "The President Ford Committee".
"Forward with Eisenhower-Nixon" Comic Book
10 1/4 inches by 6 1/2 inches red and tan comic book with fourteen pages. The cover has black and red writing with artwork. At the top is black letters spelling "FORWARD WITH EISENHOWER-NIXON". Beneath the top writing are drawn portraits of four different people: one in a suit, one in work clothes, a woman, and a farmer. There is a yellow bar with writing in the lower part of the cover with "Let's Continue" in black and "PEACE... PROSPERITY… PROGRESS" in red. The inside pages use the story of four relatives of a journalist looking to write about the election to highlight why voters should re-elect Eisenhower and vote Republican in the 1956 election. The last two pages feature short biographies of both Eisenhower and Nixon. The back page has another drawn portrait of Eisenhower. The writing on the back is a call to vote for both Eisenhower and a straight Republican ticket. At the bottom of the back page are black letters crediting the distributors of the comic book. Union imprint lower right corner of back page.
"Happy Days are Here Again" Shot Glass
Shot glass featuring a silhouette image of a donkey and the words "Happy Days Are Here."
"I Like Ike" Tie
Grey necktie with the words “I Like Ike” written in blue surrounded by a cluster of 5 stars. These motifs are repeated throughout the tie.
"I Like Kennedy" Cigar
Cigar with the words "I Like Kennedy" printed on the wrapper.
"Is Anyone Listening? Does Anyone Give A Damn?" Brochure
8 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches White brochure with black and white writing. The cover is a photo of three people, two men and one woman, looking up and to the right. There are white letters spelling "IS ANYONE LISTENING? DOES ANYONE GIVE A DAMN?" The brochure has seven pages which provide details on President Richard Nixon's accomplishments or goals with regard to the youth vote. The categories of the brochure are "National Priorities", "The War", "Foreign Policy", "The Draft", "Environmental Quality", "18 Year Old Vote", "Drugs", and "Volunteerism". The back page of the brochure ends with a quote from Richard Nixon.
"Our Choice Cleve & Steve" Glass Bottle
Aqua glass, barrel-shaped bottle (5.5”x2.75”x1.5”) celebrating the election and inauguration of President Grover Cleveland and Vice President Adlai Stevenson in 1893. Text “Our Choice/Cleve & Steve/November 8th 92/March 4th 93” and jugate busts of Cleveland and Stevenson are on one side and a rooster – an early symbol of the Democratic party – on the other.
"Our Choice, Harding and Coolidge" Framed Decal
Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge Campaign window decal (10.5"x7") framed in ornate, oval, gold-tone wood frame.
"Our County is a Key to a Nixon Victory" Door Hanger
White paper door hanger in the shape of a key. In blue print "Our county is a KEY to a" is written and "Nixon Victory" is printed in red. At the bottom of the key there is information about polling places and assistance to get to them printed in red. This hanger was printed by "The California Committee for the Re-election of the President".
"President Nixon. Now More than Ever" Door-Hanger
Paper door-hanger for President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign. Text at the top reads "Your Nixon Neighborhood Volunteer called." Below is a blue circle containing blue and red text reading "President Nixon. Now more than ever." Below is information about getting in touch with the local campaign, with a blank space at the bottom for the volunteer to fill in their address.
"Prouder, Stronger, Better" Door Hanger
White paper door hanger with American flag motif covering the top half. Text within the flag's stripes reads "Prouder, Stronger, Better". Below is decorative text reading "VOTE Tuesday, November 6. Below is a table containing text reading "For President & Vice President Ronald Reagan George Bush", with cells below reading "For Congress", "For State Senate", and "For State Assembly". Each cell has a box to the right containing a large "X". At the bottom is red and blue text reading "Yes on 39 Fairness Not Politics", above an empty box labeled "Your Polling Place". Small text at the bottom reads "California Republican Party".
"Queremos Al Presidente Johnson" Brochure
White paper brochure. The front has a black and white photograph of then-presidential candidate Lyndon B. Johnson over a red background. Above is white text reading "Queremos al Presidente Johnson" and below is black text reading "Porque Queremos la Paz y el Progreso Porque Queremos ir Adelante y no Atras". The text translates to read "We Want President Johnson Because We Want Peace and Progress Because We Want to go Forward and not Back". Inside are photos of Johnson and vice presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey with text in Spanish supporting Johnson's campaign. This brochure was made by the "All Americans Council".
"Souvenir Folder of McKinley's Birthplace, Niles, Ohio." Postcards
Envelope containing a collection of nine doublesided full-color postcards that fold out accordian style. The front of the envelope has text in black and red that reads "SOUVENIR FOLDER of McKINLEY'S BIRTHPLACE NILES, OHIO." The front of the envelope features a portrait of William McKinley along with a picture of a statue of McKinley. Subjects include monuments and buildings named for McKinley, and buildings and business in Niles, Ohio. The location pictured is identified in a label below the image.
"Straight From The Shoulder" Journal
10 15/16 inches by 8 3/8 inches tan journal with black and red writing. The top of the cover has red and black letters spelling "Straight from the shoulder A Journal of Political Fact VOLUME 3 NOVEMBER, 1956 NUMBER 9". This was made and distributed by the Republican National Committee as a series in the lead up to the 1956 election. There are fifteen pages in the journal with a back cover page. The content is either in support of the Eisenhower-Nixon campaign or against the Democrats or specifically the Stevenson-Kejauver campaign. There is use of their media coverage in quotes or political cartoons in addition to the writings from the Republican National Committee.
"The Duke in '88" Bubble Gum Cigar
Bubble gum cigar with the words "The Duke in '88" written on the wrapper in white. Produced by Swell Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation.
"The Great Society" Comic Book
10 inches by 7 inches comic book with the title "THE GREAT SOCIETY COMIC BOOK". The cover has a caricature of Lyndon B. Johnson as a superhero named "SuperLBJ". The comic book was made by Parallax Comic Books and Pocket Books. It was written by D.J. Arneson and illustrated by Tony Tallarico. The comic book has Lyndon B. Johnson, members of his cabinet and famous political figures in a superhero story as fictional heroes or villains. The heroes are a part of the GREAT Society "The Group Resigned to End All Threats". The story is about a missing SuperLBJ and members of the GREAT Society must find him on their own adventures. However, they all fail while SuperLBJ breaks free from being captive and rescues all the other heroes and beats all the villains.
"The Logical Choice" Leaflet
10 7/8 inches by 8 1/2 inches white leaflet with blue and red writing. There are blue and red letters at the top of the front cover spelling "THE LOGICAL CHOICE". In blue there is a picture of Stuart Symington in front of campaign supporters holding signs reading "SYMINGTON FOR PRESIDENT". Above the image and below the top writing is a red sphere in gridlines with an image of the United States with red and white cones pointing out in four directions, making it look like a compass rose. At the end of each cone are blue letters spelling "WEST", "NORTH", "EAST", "SOUTH". The pages inside the leaflet provide details of Symington, about his accomplishments and priorities. The back cover has blue and red letters at the top spelling "THE NOMINEE AND... NEXT PRESIDENT". There is a blue photograph of Stuart Symington and his family. At the bottom there are blue letters spelling "Symington for President Committee, 921 17th Street N.W., Washington 6, D.C. Congressman Charles H. Brown, Chrm". Union imprint on the bottom left corner of back cover.
"The New Deal" Franklin D. Roosevelt Mug
Ochre-colored barrel mug featuring a profile picture of Franklin D. Roosevelt in a shield. The text reads “The New Deal."
"To Men and Women Who Have Served" Leaflet
9 5/16 inches by 3 13/16 inches white leaflet with black writing. At the top of the front page there are black letters spelling “TO MEN and WOMEN WHO HAVE SERVED". In the middle of the front page there is a photo of Alf Landon. Alongside the right hand side of both the front and back there are black stars. Beginning on the front and continuing onto the back, Alf Landon discusses the character of soldiers in times of war representing the best of America but also the need to carry that into times of peace as well. At the bottom of the back page there are black letters spelling "REPUBLICAN SERVICE LEAGUE 920 McCormick Bldg., Chicago". Union imprint on the bottom left of the back page.
"Vote Democratic" Bookmark
White bookmark reading "Vote" in blue text and "Democratic" in vertical red text. Along the right and left sides are red and blue stripes split by three red stars. A blue outlined star is at the bottom below the letter "C".
"Wallace" Straw Hat
Adult size boater, a traditional straw hat with a flat brim and ribbon band, with a red, white and blue striped band and a striped pin with the word “Wallace” at the front of the hat.
"What it means to you to elect Wendell Willkie" Leaflet
9 inches by 5 15/16 inches white leaflet with black writing. At the top there are black letters spelling "What it means TO YOU". In the middle of the leaflet there is an image of Wendell Willkie inside of a shield and over a grey bar going across the cover. A union imprint is beneath the image. At the bottom there are black letters spelling "To Elect Wendell Willkie". The two inside pages feature Willkie's position on seven issues in his own words "Peace and War", "Defense", "Conscription", "Labor", "Relief", "Business", and "Farm Aid". The start of the first inside page is a message from the Willkie Club. The back page has a biography of Wendell Willkie and a call to help by registering to vote, getting others to register and joining or organizing local Willkie Clubs.


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