Down the Ballot

Friday, March 12, 2010


UPDATE So this ebay item ended on the 16th, and the ending selling price after 10 bids was $845.06. Simply amazing.

I am a member of the American Political Items Collectors group APIC. I collect items pertaining to American and Oregon political campaigns. Working and volunteering for current campaigns help in my efforts and I have occasionally put on visual history exhibits at university libraries to inform the public about American and Oregon political history.

Sadly there is a lot of stuff out there and not a lot of money for me to buy items. Collecting older items can be very expensive. Some small little buttons, that most people would have just tossed out after a failed campaign end up years later being worth thousands. One such example is James Cox. Most people would probably go their entire life without ever hearing the name James Cox. He was the Democratic nominee for president in 1920. He got his butt handed to him by Warren G. Harding. His buttons have sold for upwards of $30,000 dollars. You can read about them here. One of those dinky little things could settle my college loan debt. So in an effort to share my hobby with others, I will from time to time post about a button I've come across in my collecting adventures.

This first one is on ebay right now and about $350 dollars out of my price range. It is a 1928 Oregon issued Al Smith for President button. The starting price was $12.00, six days ago. It is now with 4 days left, up to $356.03. As I said, some items are rare and very expensive. Clearly the collecting world hasn't seen many of these buttons turn up issued by a group of Democratic women in the state of Oregon.

Some history: Al Smith lost Oregon 64%-34% to Herbert Hoover. It was the last of a three election streak in which the Republican presidential candidate carried every single county in Oregon. President Hoover was not able to repeat his 36 county sweep just four years later. In fact he lost so bad in Oregon in '32, he only beat Franklin Roosevelt in Benton county.

If you are interested in learning more about the APIC just click.
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