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In the Home

With the advent of radio, candidates began to perfect the techniques of broadcast address that successfully projected their interests more directly into the homes and lives of voters. The popularity of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats,” for example, could be measured in decorative novelties such as specially produced mantle clocks.

Clock, 1934

This clock’s face features a small mechanical figure of President Franklin D. Roosevelt mixing a cocktail, a reference to the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. He is supported by figures of National Recovery Administration Chairman Hugh Johnson (left) and Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins (right).

Gift of Arnold Miles Collection of Political Americana

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Republican National Committee pamphlets on behalf of presidential candidate Alfred Landon used advertising techniques to depict incumbent President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal as a failed social policy.

Pamphlet, “What Will Daddy Bring for Dinner?” 1936

Gift of Roger Sherman, Regional History Library, The University of Western Ontario

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The parties and their candidates deployed every medium to advantage in proportion to its place as an object of attention in the home. Traditional commemorative wares such as ceramic plates bearing the likenesses of the presidents were joined by advertising novelties and specialty merchandise that carried likenesses on objects that aspired to everyday use, typically in the kitchen.

Campaign thimbles

Campaign thimbles

Eisenhower campaign measuring spoon

Pocket comb, "Comb Out the National Debt"

Campaign shopping bag, 1960

Campaign bottle cap, 1964

Campaign bottle caps, 1964

Campaign bottle caps, 1964