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Bandbox, William Henry Harrison

This is a Bandbox. It is dated ca. 1840 and we acquired it in 1913. Its medium is block-printed paper, pasteboard support. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

Harrison was thrust into the limelight for his Indian campaigns while a territorial Governor in the mid-west. After the war he served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1816-19), the Ohio State Senate (1819-21) and the U.S. Senate (1825-28). Harrison was the candidate for the Whig Party in 1840 and for his election campaign Harrison was packaged as a war hero and a frontiersman. This made Harrison the butt of political jokes by his opponents the Democrats, one of which is illustrated on the bandbox. His opponents said that he was such a yokel that "upon condition of his receiving a pension of $2,000 and a barrel of cider, General Harrison would no doubt consent to withdraw his presidential pretensions and spend his days in a log cabin on the banks of the Ohio". He is illustrated on the bandbox greeting an old veteran in front of a cabin. There is a barrel of cider by his side and the Ohio River runs through the background. Despite the puns against him Harrison was elected the 9th president of the United States in 1840. At the age of 67, he was the oldest man elected president. After serving only a month he was also the first to die in office.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Bandboxes Get Political.

This object was donated by Mrs. Frederick F. Thompson. It is credited Gift of Mrs. Frederick F. Thompson.

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

  • Medal (USA)
  • engraved bronze.
  • Gift of Victor David Brenner.
  • 1906-33-1
  • Sidewall (USA)
  • block printed on handmade paper.
  • Gift of The Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • 1998-75-144

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 28.5 x 38.1 x 33 cm (11 1/4 in. x 15 in. x 13 in.)

Cite this object as

Bandbox, William Henry Harrison; USA; block-printed paper, pasteboard support; H x W x D: 28.5 x 38.1 x 33 cm (11 1/4 in. x 15 in. x 13 in.); Gift of Mrs. Frederick F. Thompson; 1913-45-7-a,b

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Hewitt Sisters Collect.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Bandbox, William Henry Harrison |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=23 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>