Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Keynoter: Virgil Goode Article

Virgil Goode on CSPAN
In the Fall 2012 Keynoter, Editor Michael Kelly writes about the electoral history of APIC member Vrigil Goode of Virginia. He is perhaps the most prominent office seeker and also member of our organization of the 21st century. As Kelly points out, "Goode has shown himself to be untrammeled by party obligation". He has been a Democrat, Republican, Independent and now running for President on the Constitution Party ticket.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

McNary Items Do Exist!

An APIC member posted these on facebook recently. Pre-1940 Charles McNary campaign items. His items are super rare and very few are known to exist. If there are more out there, they are most likely tucked away in attics, boxes in the back of antique shops, and storage unites. At least now, Oregon collectors can know at least two items they can look for.

You are probably more familiar with McNary from these kind of buttons that were produced in the millions in 1940 for the Republican ticket. McNary and Willkie would do a little better than the 1936 ticket of Landon & Knox, and chip away at FDR's support. The ticket picked up 74 more electoral votes, but still not nearly enough to get to the White House.
From wikipedia
McNary was an Oregon Supreme Court Justice before becoming a United States Senator. He first served from 1917-1918 and then from 1919 to his death in 1944. By the 1930s, he was the Minority Leader in the United States Senate for the Republican party. At the time of this death he was the longest serving United States Senator in Oregon History. This record now is held by Republican Mark Hatfield. An interesting fact, both Willkie and McNary died in 1944. If they had won the election, both would have died before the end of their first term.

Here are the early McNary items.

From a private collection

From a private collection
These are both just small business card sized handouts. For the elusiveness of McNary items it doesn't get much better than these. It is a lesson to all of us, that you just have to keep on looking.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Oregon 2012 Items

Here are some of the Oregon 2012 Items. If you have an Oregon item from 2012, feel free to share it with us.

From the 2012 Wayne Morse Dinner

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

APIC Members of Every Walk of Life

This is probably one of best photos that could be used to promote our hobby. Former President Bill Clinton featured with a pin designed by the Clinton Political Items Collectors commemorating the opening of the Clinton Library. This is a great hobby that people of every walk of life enjoy. President Clinton has a huge campaign button collection and is said to be very fond of collecting his 1996 campaign items. APIC member Phil Ross provided us with this photo via his facebook page and it has made its way around the APIC facebook world. If you enjoy collecting campaign buttons, posters, stickers or whatever head over to www.apic.us to sign up!

If you are a current member, don't forget to renew your membership.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Collectors Archive: Spiro Items

This Collectors Archive comes from the files of the Bend Bulletin in Oregon. A UPI article with long time member Robert Fratkin. At the time, Fratkin was President of the APIC. This article originally appeared on Saturday, May 16, 1981.

Spiro 'king' of novelty collectors

BALTIMORE (UPI) - The name of former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew doesn't bring much cash among collector's of traditional political items, but when it comes novelties, Agnew is king. 
Robert Fratkin, head of the American Political Items Collectors, said Friday an en elephant shaped Jim Beam bottle with Agnew's name on it goes for $2,400, an Agnew "Dirty Time" watch brings $200, and a dancing clown with Agnew's face on it brings $100. 

"The Most interesting Agnew item, and one that has gone up considerably in value, is a dancing clown figure with Agnew's face, which is a chrome music box," he said. "Wind it up and the box plays 'It's Howdy Doody Time.' It's a very nice mechanical item." 

The first Agnew watches, similar to Mickey Mouse watches, were sold for $19.95 by a California company. The watches now sell for $100 in Baltimore and last month brought $200 at an auction in New York. The watches feature Agnew's face and hands and the slogan "Dirty Time Company." They are nearly as valuable as original Mickey Mouse watches, Fratkin said. 

The bourbon bottles are valuable because they are rare. Only 200 were made and were given away during 1970 Republican fundraisers.

A Maryland kickback scheme dating from the late 1960s forced Agnew from the vice presidency on Oct. 10, 1973.

Does anyone have any of the Agnew items today? Do they still command such high prices? He may still be someones hero if they can find a buyer.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Collectors Archive: Ferdinand O'Brien Collection Story

This Collectors Archive was featured in the Chicago Sun Times in 1968. It is about Chicago area collector Ferdinand O'Brien, who was at one time President of the APIC. 

Photo by Bob Kotalik

Cityscapes Section By David Anderson

No man has ever been elected President of the United States without a campaign button. They've all had them, every candidate from George Washington (a brass button with the initials, G.W.) to the late (politically) George Romney (a plastic, blue and white two-incher saying "Return to the Mainstream, Romney for President").

The labepls of Americans have sprouted campaign buttons in every election for 179 years. The buttons are a national quirk and just about necessary to a candidate as the political platform he runs on. Factories turn them out by the millions, yet they are collectors' items, like postage stamps, classic cars, coins and diamonds.

The button savers are even organized. Eleven hundered of them are members of an elite society called the American Political Item Collectors. They buy, they sell and they swap.

All His Buttons -15,000

The man with the biggest collection in Chicago is Ferdinand O'Brien, a slim, grayish-haired man of 60, who keeps half of his 15,000 button in his Sandburg Village apartment and the other half in a Loop bank vault. He is a former president of the APIC.

O'Brien, a coin collector for 20 years, switched from coins to buttons 10 years ago rather than fight the higher prices. He specialized in coins from 1793 to  1830 and he had about 12,000.

Right now you can find a photo of O'Brien with some of his prized collection in a 1968 photo on sale from a photo archive on ebay. It looks like he had a pretty good assortment. I don't know much more about O'Brien or where his collection ended up. If you have something that you acquired from him or know where his collection ended up let us know.

If it is being held at a university or library it is always good to try and get these institutions to put these massive collections on display for the public to enjoy or for collectors to arrange appointments to view in the archive setting.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Auction Alert: Old Politicals #13

Auction Alert Notice: Old Politicals #13 is set to begin on Monday. Go check it out. Good Luck to any members that bid!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Collectors Archive: Rare Political Buttons Can Be Extremely Dear

This article was first published in The Daily Sentinel in 1976. It is summerizing a meeting of the Ohio Chapter of the APIC. It mentions members Dan McFarland and Ed Veleber. McFarland was the President of the Ohio chapter and Veleber was an member from New Jersey.

COLUMBUS (UPI) In 1900 supporters of William Jennings Bryan for president were giving away buttons with Bryan's picture on it. Monday the button could cost you $125 dollars. That's what a 1900 Bryan campaign button was selling for at the fall meeting of the Ohio American Political Items Collectors Saturday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Collectors Archive: Terrorists Seek Political Buttons

This short article appeared in the Reading Eagle  on July, 21, 1972. It concerns terrorist demands for Nixon campaign buttons. This headline and story would be taken to a whole new level in the post 9/11 world. 

LOS ANGELES (UPI) Ransom demands are becoming almost commonplace, but this one was unusal. The terrorist demanded four Nixon campaign buttons.

A note slipped benith the door of a local headquarters for re-election of the President Thursday threatned to "destory the your headquarters with all the people in it" with TNT unless "two square buttons and two big round ones" were left outside after closing hours for ransom.

The note was signed "you know who."  Campaign workers said they did not know who. They did not say whether they left buttons.

What makes this story so sad is that Nixon buttons from 1972 are pretty much everywhere now. They were made by the thousands and given out in handfuls. Long after all human life is gone, Nixon Now pins will be picked up by alien explores and they'll toss them too! The Columbia Advertising Company was the official supplier for the Committee to Re-Elect The President. If you pay more than a dollar for one of these buttons....

Collectors Archive: Political items linked to Oregon intrigue a collector

Collectors Archive Posts share stories of collectors from Oregon and around the country that appeared in traditional media outlets. This first post is an article about long time Oregon collector John Gearhart. 

This was originally published in The Oregonian, Tuesday July 1, 2008 by Liz Dahl

For more than 40 years, John Gearhart has been collecting pieces of political history that traveled through Oregon.  "My brother had a McKinley button, and I swapped him for it," says Gearhart of his first button from the 1896 campaign of the 25th president. It was 1967, he recalls, and he had just been discharged from the Navy. His 14-year-old brother was delighted with the pocketknife he got in return.

Pictured Right:Delegate badge to the 1904 Republican National Convention for Oregonians who supported Theodore Roosevelt's second term as president

Welcome Oregon Political Collectors

This is, for the time being, the online home of the Oregon Political Items Collectors Chapter of the American Political Item Collectors/Conservators. If you live in Oregon and have a fondness of history and Politics, we want to hear from you.

On the sidebar you will see links to various online resources related to the hobby of political collecting. There are auction sites, sales sites, blogs that happen to post about political items and places in Oregon where you might be able to find political items at area antique shops and shows.

The Oregon chapter meets four times a year and you can join by becoming a member of the APIC.