Don’t let candidate remain anonymous

This pinback button, now on display at the Charlotte Museum of History,  suffers what may be generously described as “condition issues.”

“In the late 1960s,” explains curator Leslie Kesler, “archaeologists excavated large areas on the grounds of the 1774 Hezekiah Alexander House in Mecklenburg County. They dug this button out of the earthen cellar floor — along with other artifacts ranging from shotgun shells to animal teeth to eighteenth-century pottery sherds. We’d love to be able to figure out who this fellow is, to satisfy our curiosity and also give us a clue about which generation of the house’s resident supported his candidacy.”

The words beneath the candidate’s photo seem to be “For Congress” — does anyone recognize him?


13 thoughts on “Don’t let candidate remain anonymous”

  1. I agree with Darryl. My first guess was early 1900’s. If that hypothesis is correct, surely the names and photographs of everyone who ran for Congress back then should still be stored somewhere in the Library of Congress or some other historical campaign archive.

  2. Wow! Thanks for all the feedback. @Darryl, I neglected to take an exact measurement before putting it in the case, but yes, 1″ is the right ballpark.
    @Kevin is the second person to suggest a Jonas family candidate. Mike Hill thought it was more likely to be Charles R. than Charles A. based on the apparent lack of a mustache. Both possibilities seem to merit further investigation, though, and I’ll be checking them out.

  3. It would make more sense to be Charles A Jonas as he did run for Congress but was defeated in 1918. He was elected to the 71st Congress from 29-31 and was never re-elected.Cngress in

  4. is the official biographical directory of everyone who’s ever served in Congress. Photos accompany entries where they’re available – none, however, for Mr. Jonas, Sr., as I just checked. You can search by any combination of last name, first name, state, party, year, Congress served in (e.g., the 100th Congress was 1987-1989), and office held (Representative or Senator). So if you know (or assume) that you’re looking for an early-20th Century Representative from North Carolina, you can input that and search the results to see if a picture shows up that matches the one on the button. Of course, if the candidate on the button was never successfully elected, he won’t be there.

  5. Given the style of the man’s clothing and his hairstyle, as well as the overall styling of the image, it looks to me like the photo was taken in the 1950s or possibly early to mid 1960s. I’d be very surprised to heat that it dates from before the late 1940s.

    Looks more like a photo of a businessman, maybe a Charlotte area businessman. Charlotte mayor Philip Van Every (Lance, Inc.); James J. Harris (Insurance company / real estate developer) or Ed O’Herron (Eckerd’s) . . . but don’t know that they ever ran for Congress. Maybe it was a gag button rather than a “real” election???

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