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In 2007, Stanley Bach donated his large and varied collection of campaign buttons to the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. It includes over 1600 buttons, big and small, recent and old, colorful and subdued. The collection is unusual for USCHS: since we don’t have a museum or archives space, this set is one of a very few artifacts in our possession.

Stanley Bach worked for the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress from 1976 to 2001, during which time he also independently presented research papers at political science conferences. His interests and physical location lent themselves to building the collection of campaign buttons that now resides at USCHS.

From now until Election Day, we’ll be featuring at least one button a day. Check back often, and let us know if you have any special requests—we’ll see if your favorite politician is included in our collection!

Today’s feature: two of our oldest and smallest buttons, for Charles N. Fowler and Elijah C. Hutchinson, both Republican representatives from New Jersey.

Fowler, a lawyer and banker, served from 1895 to 1911 and chaired the Committee on Banking and Currency before an unsuccessful bid for a Senate seat. Hutchinson rose through the state government and served in the House from 1915 to 1923, having lost his reelection campaign in 1922. Perhaps a different button would have helped the effort?

Posts in this series:
Congressional Campaign Buttons: Who’s That? (Bella Abzug)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: In Memorium (Arlen Specter, George McGovern)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: USCHS Presidents (Fred Schwengel, Ron Sarasin)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: Father/Son Pair (Gores)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: Size Matters? (Joel Broyhill)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: Chairman of the Board (Tom Coleman)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: Sportsman (Wilmer “Vinegar Bend” Mizell)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: Women in Congress (Pat Schroeder)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: Brothers (Ted, Jack, and Bobby Kennedy)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: Slogans (Jim Sasser)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: Retiring (Norm Dicks)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: Women in Congress, Floral Edition (Margaret Chase Smith)
Congressional Campaign Buttons: By Request (Jim Traficant, Bob Dole, John McCain, Barry Goldwater, Geraldine Ferraro, Gary Hart, & John Kerry)

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