New in the collection: Dixie Dew matchbook

Orange paper with an image of a Dixie Dew Syrup bottle and the words "Give a Biscuit a College Education."

“When my Dad went broke mining coal in the early 1950s he moved his wife and two youngest sons from Gadsden, Ala., to Charlotte, where he had managed to hang on to his syrup plant.

“I worked there when I was a boy, starting when I was 13 or 14 years old, making Dixie Dew Syrup, an excellent honey flavored syrup….

“The plant where he manufactured syrup and, later, clothes hangers, was in the basement of a building on Graham Street in what is now part of the parking lot of the stadium where the Carolina Panthers football team plays…”

— From “The Sweat Shop” by Pat Stith at the Final Edition

New in the collection: James Taylor benefit pinback

Pinback button with image of a sheep with green wool and the words "Keep the Sheep Meadow Green, The James Taylor Concert.'

“He endured his share of critical and commercial setbacks during a fallow stretch in the middle of the decade, but by the end of the ’70s James Taylor was undeniably one of the biggest rock stars on the planet – and he capped his remarkable run on July 31, 1979, when he played to a packed crowd during a free concert in New York City’s Central Park.

“The show, held to help raise funds and awareness for a campaign to restore the park’s Sheep Meadow to its former glory, came in the midst of a summer tour to promote Taylor’s ninth LP, Flag….”

— From “When James Taylor Played to 250,000 in Central Park” by Jeff Giles at ultimateclassicrock.com (July 31, 2014)

New in the collection: newsboy badge

Metal oblong item with the words "Newsboy, Registered by State Child Welfare Commission, North Carolina."

“Among the most determined opponents of the child labor amendment [to the Constitution] are the newspaper publishers. The newspapers have always enjoyed a cheap circulation system, based on child labor. The publishers successfully resisted amendments to their code strengthening the provisions regulating child labor in the sale and delivery of papers. These additions to the code would have set a 14-year minimum for newsboys, an 18-year minimum for girls, with, an exemption in favor of boys of 12 already employed. They would have forbidden work before 6 a.m. and late in the evening for boys under 16; and required badges issued by a public agency under the U. S. Department of Labor for children in the newspaper trade.

“At a code hearing circulation managers testified that boys were ‘no good’ for newspaper distribution after the age of 14 because they ‘became interested in girls.’ Under questioning, that was repeatedly broken down into an admission that the older boys were not attracted by the low rates of pay.”

— From “Children Wanted” by Beulah Amidon, in Survey Graphic, (January 1937)

The child labor amendment was passed by the House and Senate but never ratified by the required three-fourths of states. North Carolina was a quick no.

I’ve been frustrated in finding details on North Carolina’s regulation of newsboys, but they did wear this sturdy badge.

New in the collection: milk caps

Three milk jug caps

“After 1900, in areas of North Carolina where farms were changing from row crops to livestock (primarily the Piedmont and western regions), some farmers with milk surpluses started regular dairy routes. These routes gave farmers ready cash each month rather than forcing them to wait for the annual row crop harvest. Small dairies, or creameries, usually served nearby geographic areas, selling fresh milk, butter, and ice cream to local families. By the early 1940s, such creameries were delivering milk to homes and grocery stores daily. These creameries often developed their own brand names in direct competition with some of the larger processors such as Pet and Sealtest.

“By 1953 more than 300 dairies existed in Iredell County, which has been the leading dairy county in North Carolina since records were officially kept.

— From Dairy Industry by Chester Paul Middlesworth in NCpedia (2006)

These milk bottle caps came from Lashmit & Nelson’s White Pine Dairy near Winston-Salem, from J.C. Bowers & Sons’ Hillside Dairy near Norwood (also Boone and Pittsboro) and from Brookwood Dairy of Asheville. (The Medical Milk Commission certification cited on the Brookwood cap was an early 20th century means to allow sales to pasteurization-wary consumers. The milk commission has disappeared, but the debate continues.)

From ancestry.com this note about the surname Lashmit:

“The most Lashmit families were found in the USA in 1920. In 1880 there were 9 Lashmit families living in North Carolina. This was 100% of all the recorded Lashmit’s in the USA. North Carolina had the highest population of Lashmit families in 1880.”

New in the collection: department store mirror

Circular plastic item with images of birthstones around the edge and the words "The Leader, Asheville's New Big Department Store" and the store's address in the center.

The Leader department store was once among more than 80 Jewish-owned businesses on  Patton Avenue. Its building remains, but — more typically for contemporary Asheville — now houses a grass-fed-beef burger joint  and “a small-batch hand-craft nano-brewery and ale house.”

This nifty little celluloid lagniappe, circa 1920, includes a pocket mirror on the back and a supply of straight pins around the rim.

New in the collection: ECU license plate

Front license plate with a map of North Carolina and the words "Greenville, NC, Home of East Carolina University, 1979"

Unusual state-map design for this well-used municipal license plate. Most plates from this era are type only, although others bore such images as teapots (Edenton), bears (New Bern) and fish (Grifton).

In 2017 East Carolina University formalized its familiar diminutive.

New in the collection: Tobacco Fair badge

Gold medal with the words "Souvenir" and "Tobacco Fair"

“The first Forsyth County fair, in the 1880s, was dedicated to wheat, at the time the most valuable product, along with fruits and berries, grown in the area. But in 1897, the tobacco interests put on a huge ‘Industrial and Tobacco Fair’ which eclipsed all former efforts. The Twin City Sentinel published a special commemorative edition. All of the events were held in the tobacco warehouses.”

— From the colorful and thorough “Tobacco warehouses…T.J. Brown lights the fire…” by the North Carolina Collection, Forsyth County Public Library

The Tobacco Fair turned into the Dixie Classic in 1956 and then into the Carolina Classic in 2019.

New in the collection: Carolina Action pinback

Pinback with the words "You and Me versus Duke Power Company" and "Carolina Action"

“From the mid-1970s to about 1982, Carolina Action seemed everywhere in Greensboro. It held press conferences and rallies to demand an elected school board and a district system for electing City Council. It held voter-registration drives. It fought proposed electricity rate and bus fare increases by Duke Power, which operated the bus system then. It took busloads of members to Raleigh to protest the state placing motorists in an assigned risk pool that meant higher premiums….

“Carolina Action introduced to Greensboro in-your-face protesting. It sent City Council member Lois McManus a snake the group said had been caught on a vacant lot the city had failed to maintain….

“By 1981, Carolina Action’s paid staff was gone and neighborhood groups became inactive. One of the young organizers said America’s youth had grown conservative and apathetic, and Carolina Action was having trouble finding recruits willing to work hard for low wages….”

— From “Group raised the curtain on political theater in Greensboro in ’70s” by Jim Schlosser in the Greensboro News & Record (Oct. 5, 2009)

 

 

New in the collection: Charlotte double-dips

Paper with the words "Visit Charlotte, NC," "1732-1932, George Washington Bicentennial Celebration," and "May 20, 1775, 1932, Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence."

“Thousands of Mecklenburg citizens, many of them direct lineal descendants of signers of the famous document, are expected to gather in the open air theater of Independence Park to celebrate with salvo and song the 157th anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.

“A dozen patriotic societies will commemorate the signing of the immortal document… and at the same time will honor the George Washington bicentennial observance in programs throughout the year.”

— From “Open air exercises to mark May 20 observance” in the Charlotte Observer (May 17, 1932)

Outside its home county the Meck Dec has struggled to entrench itself as  an “immortal document,” especially among evidence-demanding historians.

This image is from a poster stamp, intended for promotion rather than postage.

 

New in the collection: Iraq War protest pinback

Pinback with ffemale figure in hijab clutching two children. The words read "Together as one" and "March 19, 2005"

“Two years ago this weekend, Michael Hoffman, then a U.S. Marine, was marching across the border of Kuwait as the war in Iraq began. On Saturday, he marched through the streets of this military town [Fayetteville] with other veterans, military family members and anti-war activists protesting the invasion he now believes was wrong….

“[Such demonstrations come] as national anti-war efforts try to regain footing after the re-election of President Bush.

“That is partly why one of the larger events was in Fayetteville, home of Ft. Bragg Army base, the Army Special Operations Command and the 82nd Airborne Division, now on its second tour of duty in Iraq. Police estimated that 3,000 people gathered in a park Saturday for Fayetteville‘s largest anti-war rally since Jane Fonda protested the Vietnam War here in 1971.”

— From “Army town draws anti-war protest; Thousands march across U.S., Europe on Iraq anniversary” by Dahleen Glanton in the Chicago Tribune (March 20, 2005)

The initialisms around the edge of this pinback button represent organizations such as Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Military Families Speak Out.