Pins and Watch Fobs: Historical Background

Lapel pins were quite fashionable in the latter part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Watch fobs were another novelty item. It was a way for politicians to advertise themselves and the issues.

The currency standard was a major issue in the 1896 election between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan. McKinley, a Republican, favored gold, while Bryan, a Democrat, favored free silver. Gold and silver bug pins were worn as symbols to represent a person's position on the issue.

This exhibit of pins and watch fobs is courtesy of the Macy Hallock collection.

McKinley
Gold Bug 1896
McKinley
Coal Scuttle 1896
Gold & Silver Bugs
1896
McKinley
Eagle 1900
Wet Party
1904
McKinley - Hobart
1896
Bryan
1908
Taft
1908
Bryan
1908
Taft
1908

Updated February 22, 2009
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