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One Political Pin that is a Real Marvel

This pinback was issued when Theodore Roosevelt visited a flour plant in Wisconsin in 1902.

This pinback was issued when Theodore Roosevelt visited a flour plant in Wisconsin in 1902.

When you think of politics and buttons, you might think of campaign buttons. But not every button was for a campaign.

It’s not uncommon to this day that when a president visits somewhere, there are souvenirs made. Back during the Golden Age of Political Buttons, around the turn of the previous century, those souvenirs were usually buttons. And when a president came to town, the button makers went to work. These new lapel novelties were hot.

I’ve seen many one-day-event buttons, made for a president’s visit, but there is one that has always stood out in my mind. I was lucky to add it to my collection nearly 20 years ago. I’ve never regretted a penny I paid for it. It’s a button for a visit by Theodore Roosevelt to the Listman Co. Marvel Flour factory in LaCrosse, Wisc., in 1902.

This 1 ¼ inch celluloid button, with Theodore Roosevelt’s photo in the center, has great color, design and slogans. At auction, it’s sought after by political collectors as well as advertising collectors.

Recently, I took a spin through the Internet and found a photo of a sign in LaCrosse for the factory that was there the day Theodore Roosevelt visited, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/23711298@N07/3750153008/. It was at one time covered by another sign, but enough of the Marvel name is still there to make it recognizable.

It’s been more than 110 years since the president visited the factory, but the building sign and the button still recall that day.


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