Pinback button promoting William McKinley for president and Theodore Roosevelt for vice president, 1900. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
Laden with symbolism, this classic pinback from the turn of the last century features the Republican candidates on a lunch pail of the style carried by workingmen of the period. "A Full Dinner Bucket," it proclaims, "Sound Money--Good Markets." Cup reads: "Employment for Labor." Handle: "Prosperity."
Republicans, backed by the Northern industrial elite, were obliged to appeal to labor in the face of Bryan's populist assault and the burgeoning Socialist movement led by Eugene Debs. The image of the dinner bucket was designed to resonate with the working class voter who remembered the hard times and widespread unemployment of the 1890s. The message is that we have McKinley to thank for the return of prosperity, and that his Republican administration must be sustained to ensure future prosperity.
One of the all-time favorites of political button collectors, it is as visually stunning as it is historically significant. We offer a rare pristine example, well-centered and complete with the Whitehead & Hoag paper insert.