Every four years, ordinary objects are transformed into political statements that bring Presidential campaigns into Americans’ homes and lives. Explore interesting and unusual examples from The Henry Ford’s collections.
Opponents made fun of 67-year-old William Henry Harrison, accusing him of retiring to his log cabin to drink hard cider. Harrison capitalized on these symbols of the frontier to seem a simple, ordinary man of the people—although he was actually an aristocratic Virginian who lived in a stately brick home.
By 1912, Teddy Roosevelt had become such a legend that symbols alone—like those on this bandanna—evoked meaning for his supporters: his be-spectacled image, his initials printed as a Western-style cattle brand, and his “Rough Rider” hat in the center symbolizing the phrase he coined for the 1912 Presidential election, “throwing his hat in the ring.” Supporters would have waved these bandannas at Roosevelt speeches and rallies.
From The Henry Ford Archive of American Innovation™.
To see more artifacts related to presidential campaigns, visit The Henry Ford's Digital Collections.