Pinback button promoting William Jennings Bryan for president and John W. Kern for vice president, 1908. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
There was little to excite voters in 1908. Republicans put forward the innocuous William Howard Taft, and Democrats dusted off William Jennings Bryan, still feisty but hardly a breath of fresh air. To compensate for the candidates' lack of luster, badge makers produced arguably the most visually stunning campaign buttons ever made. With their beautiful color lithography enhanced by Art Nouveau styles, they are the showpieces coveted by today's collectors, with rare designs commanding robust four-figure prices. Here's a representative example you can afford.