New in the collection: Swinging bridge pinback

Pinback featuring a colored image of the swinging bridge and the words "I crossed the Mile High Swing Bridge. Grandfather Mountain, N.C."

“The swinging bridge was one of two options when [Hugh] Morton decided to get visitors from the gift shop-museum parking lot to the rocky overlook. ‘We had to have some way to get them across, and we could either have a stationary bridge or a swinging bridge,’ he said. ‘We decided the swinging bridge would be more fun, and would make a good conversation piece.’
“Some 30 percent of women visitors, and a smaller percentage of males, however, think it best not to cross the bridge.”

— From the Greensboro Daily News (Oct. 1, 1978) via A View to Hugh

 

New in the collection: Lizard Lick Towing plaque

Football shaped plaque with the embossed words, "Lizard Lick Towing."

” ‘Lizard Lick Towing’ makes ‘Jersey Shore’ look like a Martha Stewart episode.

“Drawing its name from the nearby crossroads community about 20 miles east of Raleigh, Lizard Lick Towing & Recovery is the enterprise of Ron and Amy Shirley…

“Wendell’s Chamber of Commerce isn’t trumpeting the news of a cable show being taped in its precincts, and the antics of the stars can’t be expected to pull many viewers off PBS.

“But for the low-falutin’ crowd, it’s the place to be. Brawls, bash-ups and a tow truck, too — too good to be true. And after a few minutes, you’ll doubt that is.”

— From “Out of Lizard Lick, something tasteless” by Mark Washburn in the Charlotte Observer (Feb. 12, 2011)

“Lizard Lick Towing” is long gone from cable, but this oddball, perhaps homemade wooden plaque remains. And so does the business itself.

 

New in the collection: Lumberton license plate

Front license plate with the words "Lumberton, The Progressive City."

Just as local license plates once touted friendliness — Randleman, “City of Friendly People,” and Zebulon, “Town of Friendly People” — so too did they claim progressiveness.

While Lumberton basks in today’s Miscellany spotlight, we could have just as easily recognized Ayden (“Progressive Community”), Dunn (“Pattern for Progress”), Simpson (“Together for Progress”) or Ahoskie and Statesville (each a “City of Progress”).

 

New in the collection: Anti-Amendment One pinback

Pinback with the words Against the Amendment.
“The North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Amendment was on the May 8, 2012, ballot as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved [61 percent to 39 percent]. It was later overturned [but remains, unenforceable, in the state constitution].

“The measure defines marriage in the state constitution as between one man and one woman, and bans any other type of ‘domestic legal union’ such as civil unions and domestic partnerships….”

— From Ballotpedia

 

New in the collection: anti-Depression ink blotters

Message on Seeman Printery blotter. It reads "Things we have learned since 1929." And then lists seven things. They are "That trying to keep pace with the Joneses isn't essential to happiness." "That a man may be broke and yet be intelligent and a gentleman. That the largest fortunes can collapse very easily." "That the deflation of our conceit has been considerable." "That no one of us is so terribly important." "That we are all very dependent upon each other for our welfare" "And that these things learned make us more fit for the future and more deserving of the ultimate return of true American standards of living." The list is ascribed to Daniel Rand.

Another part of the blotter. It includes calendar for May 1932 and the message "Stop Talking Deptression: When all the world seems gone to pot and business is on the bum, a two-cent grin and a lifted chin, helps some, my boy, helps some." An additional message reads, "Try a stiff dose of self confidence and see what happens."
The Seeman Printery, whose products included the labels for Bull Durham tobacco, dispatched these promotional blotters into the teeth of the Great Depression.

Despite the Printery’s longevity the best-remembered Seeman may have been Ernest — son of the founder — who left the family business in 1923. He went on to head the Duke Press, to lose his job after doing battle with the administration and to write the Durham/Duke roman a clef American Gold.

 

New in the collection: Silent Vigil reunion pinback

Pinback with the words, "Sixty-eight silent vigil reunion eighty-eight."

“The largest student demonstration in Duke’s history, which came down to be known as the ‘Silent Vigil,’ developed over the period from April 4 to 12, 1968. They were eight days that changed Duke forever.

“Events began with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis on Thursday, April 4, which created ‘a mixture of sadness, fear, guilt and frustration’ on campus, said one contemporary account. As riots erupted across the country, student leaders, principally from campus religious groups, and a growing number of radicals, immediately began to discuss a campus response. One group called for a vigil in front of the chapel; another called for a protest march….”

— From “The Silent Vigil, 1968”  by William E. King, university archivist (1997)

 

New in the collection: Barry Farber campaign button

Pinback button with the words,"Barry Farber for Congress. Nineteen seventy."

Though Barry Farber, graduate of Greensboro High (’48) and UNC Chapel Hill (’52), would make his reputation as a radio talker, he also ventured into politics on occasion. Most memorable in his 1970 race for House of Representatives was who defeated him: Bella Abzug.

 

New in the collection: Charlotte rodeo program

Cover of 1948 Southeast Championship Rodeo program. Features rider falling off horse.

Back cover of rodeo program with numerous signatures

The week-long Southeast Championship Rodeo and World’s Greatest Wildwest Show was held at Charlotte Memorial Stadium in April 1948. Curiously, the autographs printed on the program cover belong not to the visiting rodeo stars but to the sponsoring Jaycees.

Among events: a donkey-riding contest for kids. “Center donkey is for the girls,” the program explains. “End donkey is for little white boys, and the donkey in front of the colored section is for the little colored boys….”

New in the collection: Robin Hayes campaign washcloth

White wash cloth with words "Vote Hayes."

Did this distinctive if humble item spring from Robin Hayes’s campaign for Concord City Council? For N.C. House? For Congress? For governor?

Regardless, the Cannon Mills scion’s hortatory washcloth bears a Cannon Mills label (84 percent cotton, 16 percent polyester) — and even found its way to a booth at the mammoth antique mall now occupying the former Cannon-owned Gibson Mill in Concord.

New in the collection: Bull Durham watch charm

Watch charm featuring Bull Durham icon

“Send 5 cents and we will mail you pre-paid, anywhere in the U.S., a 5-cent sack of ‘Bull’ Durham, a Book of cigarette papers, and this 14K gold plated ‘Bull’ Watch Charm, Free….

“We will also send you an illustrated booklet showing how to ‘roll your own’ cigarettes….”

— From a full-page ad in Popular Mechanics magazine (May 1914)

The chain was probably added by an early owner.