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


"Automatic Voting Machines were used by 12 million voters at the 1944 presidential election." Print Ad
Advertisment for "Automatic Voting Machines" in "The American City". Advertises that they were used "by 12 million voters at the 1944 presidential election". Includes facts that a "fact-finding bureau learned in St. Paul". In the middle of the ad there is a photograph of a man using an Automatic Voting Machine.
23rd President U.S.A., Benjamin Harrison Token
1-inch copper token with low-relief profile portrait of Benjamin Harrison. The words "23rd President U.S.A. 1889 - 1893 are in low-relief block letters above the portrait and "Benjamin Harrison" is in block letters below it. On the reverse of the token in low-relief block letters is extensive text about his career that begins with "Backbone Ben, Son of his Grandfather."
48 Hours to Choose Our Future Sticker
Blue sticker bisected horizontally with a red line and half a white star. In white print it reads "48 Hours to Choose Our Future" above the red line and below it "Mondale Ferraro" is printed in white.
7 Reasons Print Ad
Print ad for "Automatic Voting Machine Corporation" of "Jamestown, New York", in operation "since 1898". Ad lists 7 reasons why "5,500 cities, towns, and villages in the United States use Automatic Voting Machines".
A Clean Sweep Button
Button with a sketch of a rooster and broom. Surrounding the sketch, the button reads "A Clean Sweep." The rooster references the former symbol of the Democratic political party.
A Full Dinner Bucket Button
1 and 1/4-inch round pin back button with black and white portrait of William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt on a metal dinner bucket over a blue background. Button has paper label on reverse for Allied Printing Trades Council and The Whitehead & Hoag Co.
A Portrait of a Leader In His Own Words Brochure
White brochure with black print promoting then presidential candidate "Eugene J. McCarthy. The front reads "Portrait of a Leader in his own Words" and has a quote by Adlai E. Stevenson. Above is a photograph of McCarthy looking to the right. Inside are quotes by McCarthy about various topics and a photograph of him shaking hands at a rally. On the back there is a picture of his McCarthy, his wife Abigail, and his children: Michael, Mary, Margaret, and Ellen. Below is a short biography. This brochure was made by the "McCarthy for President" group.
AL Button
Button in the shape of a derby (bowler) hat reading "AL." The hat references presidential candidate Alfred E. Smith's iconic derby hat that he wore during his time as the Governor of New York State.
Adlai E. Stevenson For Governor Button
7/8-inch round, pin back button with black and white portrait of Adlai E. Stevenson on a white background. The words "Adlai E. Stevenson For Governor" in black block text surround the portrait.
America First: McKinley Button
7/8-inch round, pin back button with red on the top, blue on the bottom and a white horizontal stripe down the middle.
American Journey, Colin Powell Button
Yellow button with a red border reading "American Journey Colin Powell" in white lettering. The border also reads "SF '95" in red. The center of the button has a color, photographic portrait of proposed vice presidential candidate Colin Powell.
Avoid Costly Election Contests Once and for All By Using Voting Machines Print Ad
Print ad in "The American City" magazine for "Automatic Registering Machine CO., Inc." of "Jamestown, New York". Ad tells an anecdote involving the reliability of the machines. A photograph of a voting machine is in the upper right corner.
Back Up; You've Batted Twice Card
On this double sided card, Uncle Sam serves as referee and instructs a stylized Theodore Roosevelt to step away and allow a stylized Taft to take bat in a baseball game.er 1909
Billy Possum and Jimmie Possum on the Links Postcard
Double-sided caricature postcard of Billy Possum, an animal character representing William H. Taft, and Jimmy Possum, an animal character representing James S. Sherman who was Taft's vice-president, playing golf; stamped and dated November 1909
Blaine and Logan Medal
1-inch medal with jugate profile portraits of Republican president and vice president candidates for the 1884 Presidential election, James G. Blaine and John A. Logan facing each other surrounded by flags. medal reverse reads "Republican Candidates for President and Vice President of the United States, 1884" framed by a laurel wreath. The medal has a circular hole at the upper edge.
Cleveland and Hendricks Button
Golden colored clothing button reading "Cleveland and Hendricks" with stars separating the words. The button refers to presidential candidate Grover Cleveland and vice presidential candidate Thomas A. Hendricks.
Col. Theodore Roosevelt Button
7/8-inch round, pin back button with black and white portrait of Col. Theodore Roosevelt with American flag drapery in upper left corner, all on white background. Button has paper label on reverse for National Equipment Co., New York & Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark.
Coolidge-Dawes, Full Dinner Pail Button
White button with red top and blue bottom border, each with white lettering and a sketch of a dinner pail surrounded by the words "Coolidge-Dawes" and "Full Dinner Pail."
Cox/Roosevelt Button
Red button with white text reading "Cox." Partially covering the text is a horizontal blue stripe with white text reading "Roosevelt."
Cynthia E. Barns Letter
Envelope addressed to Mrs. Cynthia E. Barns of Washington, New Hampshire. In the upper left hand corner is a drawing of Ulysses S. Grant surrounded by a laurel wreath. Under grant are two American flags. Beneath the picture " We'll fight it out on this line if it takes all summer" is written. On the back of the envelope, 1869 is written in pen.
Danger Ahead! Handbill
White handbill that has a cartoon wooden sign reading "Danger Ahead" in red. The sign is surrounded by red cartoon lanterns. Below are warnings about then presidential candidate Dwight Eisenhower and his military background. At the bottom "Vote for Stevenson for President" is printed in red. This poster was created by "The NAtional Volunteers for Stevenson".
Democratic National Convention Guest Ticket
Guest admission ticket for the 1952 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. The front of the ticket has a sketch of former President Thomas Jefferson with a quote reading "The last hope of human liberty in this world rests with us." The opposite side of the ticket has the Great Seal of the United States.
Democratic National Convention, Active Press Ticket
Green admission ticket reading "Democratic National Convention New York, June 24th Active Press." There is an oval portrait of former President Thomas Jefferson flanked by branches on the left side of the ticket and the United States Capitol in the center. The back of the ticket has the seal of New York State.
Democratic National Convention, Delegate Ribbon
Red, white, and blue striped ribbon with ribbon badge depicting an American Eagle sitting atop a banner flanked by two American flags. The banner reads "Delegate Democratic National Convention 1964." A medal hanging from the ribbon reads "Atlantic City" and depicts the facade of Boardwalk Hall. Beneath the image is a large star surrounded by an airplace in flight and a cart from the Atlantic City boardwalk.
Democratic National Convention, Guest's Ticket
Admission ticket reading "1916 Democratic National Convention Guest's Ticket." Sketched images of the United States Captiol Building and the Saint Louis, Missouri riverfront and bridges are shown flanking a sketch of former President Thomas Jefferson. On the opposite side of the ticket is a sketched image of King Louis IX, namesake of Saint Louis, on horseback.
Democratic National Convention, Messenger Ticket
Admission ticket reading "Messenger Democratic National Convention." The ticket has a place to fill in the recipient's name, as well as a depiction of former President Thomas Jefferson. The opposite side of the ticket shows a sketched image of King Louis IX, namesake of Saint Louis, on horseback.
Democratic State Convention, Alternate Ribbon
Red, white, and blue striped ribbon with ribbon badge depicting an American Eagle sitting atop a banner flanked by two American flags. The banner reads "Alternate Democratic National Convention 1956." A medal hanging from the ribbon reads "Chicago" and depicts the skyline of Chicago, Illinois with a large star in the sky. Beneath this image is a balancing scale surrounded by an airplane, train, and covered wagon.
Do You Want to Go Back 10 years? Flyer
The flyer is made of yellow paper with blue ink. On the front is a mock box score printed with references to "average factory wage", "Total Jobs", "Unemployment", "Union Members" and "Strikes" displayed in relation to 1946 "before "Tart-Hartley" and in 1956 "After Tart-Hartley". Below the box score "The Democrats Call These Shackles! " is printed and below are is a list containing more information about the above box score. Below this "For Peace and Prosperity, Vote Republican is printed" and below this the company that produced this flier " Republican Associates" and their address "315 West 9th St., Los Angeles 15, Calif." is printed. On the back left corner "Here's our Team!" is printed. On the upper right corner "Let's work for the team...as a team!" is printed, with "as" underlined. "For, peace, prosperity, and progress, Elect Ike and Dick and give them a Republican Congress" is printed on the left side of the front. Then presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower and vice presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon's pictures are printed at the top of the page and under them are photos and names of Republicans running for congress in California. "California's Assembly Must Go Republican... Here's the "team" with each man's assembly district opposite his name" is printed above the names and districts of candidates with "Help Keep California Prosperous And Progressive...Help Elect Your Republican Candidates!" printed below.


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