Campaign memorabilia on view this winter in Nashua City Hall
From pens to potholders and paperweights to pins, candidates campaigning for office have tried to boost their visibility with a host of catchy marketing memorabilia.
Marking that colorful journey is an exhibit in the Nashua Historical Society's wall cases on the first floor of Nashua City Hall, 229 Main St., through the end of March.
After George Washington took the oath as the first president of the U.S. in 1789, brass buttons with his image and the words, “G.W. — Long live the president” were marketed to commemorate the occasion.
But, curators said, it was not until the 1800s that the first campaign items were handed out to gain name recognition.
Campaign buttons or pins with candidates' names, pictures and slogans were made by placing a thin piece of celluloid over paper and wrapping it around a metal disk.
Technology advances in 1916 led to lithographing the image and message directly onto the tin disk. Today, disposable stick-on badges are a popular choice. With time, campaign free giveaways expanded to include pens, pencils, potholders, magnets, paperweights, combs, calendars, toys, bumper stickers and more.
Nashua historian Frank Mooney shares items of his collection in the city hall display, which can be viewed between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. There is no admission fee.