MRS PRESIDENT CLEVELAND : TRADE CARD : ADVERTISING “THE BEST BREWING COMPANY”

Meet “Mrs President Cleveland”. In the era of Grover Cleveland’s Presidencies, wives were just extensions of their husbands and their names, were at times, irrelevant. Mrs President Cleveland was actually Frances Cleveland (1864-1947). Grover Cleveland served two terms as President. He was the 22nd and 24th President and the only President to serve non consecutive terms. He began his terms in 1885 and 1893. Enough about Grover, there is plenty to say about Frances. She was born in Buffalo, New York. Her given first name was “Frank”, but she feminized it later. She was named after an uncle. Her father was an attorney and was a close friend of Grover Cleveland. Cleveland met Frances when she was a baby and he was twenty-seven years old. He watched Frances grow up and showed a caring interest in her. When Frances lost her father in a carriage accident, she was only eleven years-old. Cleveland became the administrator of her father’s estate and this position put him in more contact with her. While Frances was in college, Cleveland developed romantic feeling toward her and in 1885, he proposed to her. At age 21, she was the youngest wife of a President. Frances received much attention from the newspapers and magazines of the time. Her wedding was widely covered. John Phillip Sousa led the Marine band at her wedding. Throughout her husband’s terms, many American women imitated her hairstyle and her fashion taste. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union was very critical of the way Frances dressed. They did not appreciate her baring her shoulders and wearing low cut dresses. They prepared a petition of protest which the first lady ignored. Grover and Frances had five children, three daughters and two sons. She was first first lady to give birth while her husband was President. Her first born, Ruth, died at age twelve of diphtheria. The “Baby Ruth” candy bar was named after her. Grover Cleveland died in 1908. About four years later, Frances married a professor of archaeology at her alma mater, Wells College. When World War I started, she joined the pro-war National Security League and became an officer of the organization. She created much controversy with the league when she claimed that a large segment of the American population was unassimilated and preventing the country from working together efficiently. Adding to the stir was that she recommended that school children should be psychologically indoctrinated to be in favor of the war. All this self initiated commotion caused her to resign in 1919. Frances Cleveland was no friend of the Women’s Suffrage movement. She cemented the disfavor of the movement when she said that “women weren’t yet intelligent enough to vote”. In 1913, she was elected as vice president of the “New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman’s Suffrage”. On a more politically correct note, during the Great Depression she led the “Needlework Guild of America’s clothing drive for the poor. Immediately after her wedding, the facial image of Mrs Cleveland began appearing in advertising aimed at selling various products such as sewing kits, cigars, and women’s perfume. Frances was a perfect model for companies looking to advertise. She was young, pretty, and vivacious. One form of advertising that employed Mrs Cleveland’s image to sell products, was trade cards, such as the one seen above. This trade card aims to sell “The ‘Best’ Tonic” which was produced by “The Philadelphia Best Brewing Company”. Advertising on this tradecard declares that the brewing company will send a 19″ x 25″ portrait of Frances Cleveland to customers that send in twelve coupons from their “Best Tonic”product.  This trade card was printed by the Julius Bien (1826-1909) Lithograph Company of New York. This vintage trade card is in good condition (see scans).   (SOLD)

PORTRAIT OF MONTANA SENATOR THOMAS J. WALSH : MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO U.S. HISTORY

The year is 1928. The race is on for the Democratic nomination. This press photo (3/3/28) features U.S. Senator Thomas J. Walsh (1859-1933). At the time of the photo, he was vying for the nomination to represent the Democrats in the 1928 election. Walsh lost the nomination to New York Governor Al Smith. Smith subsequently lost the election to Republican Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover. Walsh had sought the nomination as a “dry” candidate. In other words, he was a supporter of Prohibition. He also was noted  as a Senate prosecutor of the oil industry. Walsh was a lawyer politician who represented the state of Montana from 1913 to 1933. He was considered to be a liberal but that did not stop Franklin D. Roosevelt from selecting him to be the United States Attorney General. Unfortunately, Walsh died on a train as he headed to Roosevelt’s inauguration and never served in that role. If you are interested, I would suggest researching the details of the Senator’s demise. Was he murdered? You will find more than one conspiracy theory, and it’s an interesting story. Here are more biographical details about the Senator. During his career he had been a spokesman for President Woodrow Wilson in the Senate. He also was a supporter of Women’s suffrage, farm loans, the League of Nations, and the graduated income tax. During the 1920’s Walsh headed the Senate investigation into the Teapot Dome scandal (involved top officials of the Harding administration). In 1924 and 1932, he was the chairman of the Democratic Convention. Senator Thomas J. Walsh clearly played a major role in the US Senate and had significant impact on the nation. This vintage press photograph measures 5″ x 7″ and is in very good condition (see scans). If you think Senator Walsh appears intense in this photo, you are correct. Bob Brown, a Montana politician, states that there is no known photograph showing Walsh smiling. Brown’s comment appeared in an article he wrote for the Missoulian (1919).

Buy this Vintage Press Photo (includes shipping within the US) #2861

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$35.50

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #2860

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$44.00