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TURKEY RED BANDANNA, MADE FOR THE 1912 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF TEDDY ROOSEVELT, WHEN HE RAN ON THE INDEPENDENT, PROGRESSIVE PARTY (BULL MOOSE) TICKET

TURKEY RED BANDANNA, MADE FOR THE 1912 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF TEDDY ROOSEVELT, WHEN HE RAN ON THE INDEPENDENT, PROGRESSIVE PARTY (BULL MOOSE) TICKET

Web ID: ker-224
Available: In Stock
Frame Size (H x L): 31.75" x 34.75"
Flag Size (H x L): 21.5" x 25"
 
Description:
Printed cotton kerchief, made for the 1912 presidential campaign of Theodore Roosevelt when he ran on the Progressive Party ticket (a.k.a., the Bull Moose campaign). This graphic textile, in a classic, western style, typical of the iconic red bandanna, is indicative of both the Republican Party in the late 19th century, and T.R.’s love of the American West.

In this example, a geometric design with diamonds, surrounded by multiple, linear borders, is accompanied by the following text along the top and bottom that reads: “The Roosevelt Bandanna” and “Progressive Party,” respectively. A maker’s mark in the lower right corner reads “Cochranes Mfg. Co.” Cochrane’s was known for their long-lasting, red dye process, called “Cochrane’s Turkey Red.”. It was really a process, as opposed to a dye itself, to which the name applied. The dye was actually a derived from a synthetic colorant called “alizarin,” imported by Alexander Cochrane’s family, who emigrated to the United States from 1847, and owned a chemical company in Massachusetts that produced the dye. The fabrics were produced by the family of John Cochrane, who emigrated from Renfrewshire, Scotland in 1844. Both families, who resided in Malden, Massachusetts initially, traced their ancestry to Barrhead, Scotland, in the heart of the textile-producing region, near Glasgow and Paisley. It was in Glascow that Turkey Red printed bandannas are said to have originated, in the shop of Henry Monteith & Company, in 1802.*

TR's decision to enter the 1912 election was not exactly popular among many of his friends and former supporters. His participation manifested into a unique political incident, in which the independent, Roosevelt, beat out a major party ticket, garnering 27.4% of the vote. At the same time, however, he lost the White House, not only for himself, but for his former Republican friends as well, by dividing support between his own candidacy and that of incumbent President William Howard Taft. The result handed the office to Woodrow Wilson, who became only the second Democrat politician to be elected to our nation's highest office since 1856 [noting that Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, 1885-89 and 93-96).

A bandanna in this style is documented in “Threads of History”, by Herbert Ridgeway Collins, (Smithsonian Press, 1978), as item 937 on page 372. Collins served as curator of Political History at the Smithsonian and his landmark text is considered the “Bible” of political flag and textile collecting.

* My thanks to quilt expert Barbara Brackman’s for her research on the Cochrane families and the Turkey Red dye process.

It is of interest to note that the Turkey Red process, which became a significant industry in India, seems to have been taken there by Keshav Malhar Bhat, the first Indian to attend of MIT, who met with John Cochrane, in 1882 – the same year during which he studied in Cambridge -- and garnered enough knowledge to return to India and initiate manufacturing. This was a rather significant event in the textile industry, and Indian-American history alike, as American textile manufacturers were notoriously secretive about their processes, and no more Indian students were admitted to MIT for 20 years hence.

Mounting: The flag was mounted and framed within our own conservation department, which is led by expert trained staff. We take great care in the mounting and preservation of flags and have framed thousands of examples.

The background is 100% cotton, black in color, that has been washed and treated for colorfastness. The mount was then placed in a dark brown, concave molding with a grain like mahogany, to which a black-painted and hand-gilded, Italian molding was added as a cap. The glazing is U.V. protective acrylic (Plexiglas).

Condition: There are no significant condition issues.
Video:
   
Collector Level: Beginners and Holiday Gift Giving
Flag Type:
Star Count:
Earliest Date of Origin: 1912
Latest Date of Origin: 1912
State/Affiliation: Massachusetts
War Association:
Price: Please call (717) 676-0545 or (717) 502-1281
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com


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