Every fourth year, when a presidential race is filling the minds and newspapers of Americans, the price of political ephemera rises. The political buttons, banners, and oddities are suddenly discovered by a new group of collectors. Of course, there are many serious collectors who seek political items every year. The hobby has a national club, publication, shows, and a built-in publicity possibility that encourages new collectors and higher prices regularly. To a collector there are two kinds of political memorabilia: authentic items and “brummagems.” The brummagems are the tourist-trap pieces, made because they will sell. Most of the buttons with off-color or insulting slogans were made to be sold by hucksters, and they are not true political pieces.


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