Abraham Lincoln Campaign Medal

Abraham Lincoln Campaign Medal

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Description (Brief)
This presidential campaign medal was made by the Scovill Manufacturing Company of Waterbury, Connecticut around 1860. The Scovill Company was established in 1802 as a button manufacturer, and is still in business today. Scovill was an early industrial American innovator, adapting armory manufacturing processes to mass-produce a variety of consumer goods including buttons, daguerreotype mats, and campaign badges.
Obverse: Profile image of Abraham Lincoln facing right. Legend reads: HON. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 1860.
Reverse: Depiction of two men splitting logs with a log cabin in the background. Legend reads: THE RAIL SPLITTER OF THE WEST.
Location
Currently not on view
depicted
Lincoln, Abraham
maker
Scovill Manufacturing Company
Measurements
overall: 2.8 cm; 1 1/8 in
ID Number
1981.0296.1074
accession number
1981.0296
catalog number
1981.0296.1074
related event
Presidential Campaign of 1860
See more items in
Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
Industry & Manufacturing
Scovill Manufacturing Collection
Government, Politics, and Reform
Data Source
National Museum of American History

Comments

This is one of the three general designs that depicted Abraham Lincoln as “the rail splitter.” Despite that fact that Lincoln had become a very successful and highly paid lawyer by this time, his campaign used this image to make him an attractive figure for working class people. This is the most common variety of medalet that depicts the rail splitter motif. The other two medalet designs were issued by the Childs Company of Chicago. A careful examination of the figure holding the wedge for Lincoln as he swings the mallot would indicate that it is Stephen Douglas who was also a presidential candidate in 1860 and a long time Lincoln rival.

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