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Solar and Wind Power

Solar and Wind Power Cause Button Museum
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Solar and Wind Power button back Cause Button Museum
Solar and Wind Power Green Cause Button Museum
Solar and Wind Power Green button back Cause Button Museum
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Illustration of a windmill in front of a large golden sun on a black background

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Green alternative energy sources including wind and solar power have been seen as an alternative to fossil fuels and many advocates have supported these renewable resources over the years.

Although the photovoltaic (PV) effect was discovered by French physicist A.E. Becquerel in 1839, the first solar cell was not built until 1883 by a different physicist, Charles Fritts. During the oil crisis of the 1970s, renewable energy became a hot topic as public interest in the dwindling supply of oil brought attention to the issue. Even oil companies including Shell, BP and Mobil, began to invest in solar research.

Sailboats and ships have been harnessing the power of wind for over 5500 years. In the early 1970s and continuing through the mid-1980s, the United States government worked with the wind power industry to help create the first government funded renewable wind resources, wind turbines. NASA developed a utility-scale wind turbine for the United States and set prototypes to start gathering data before a commercial release. With the cost of solar cells at $20 in the 1970s, many consumers looked towards cheaper power sources and considered wind energy as a low-cost alternative.

Based in Hampton, Connecticut, Kate Donnelly and Clay Colt established their family-run company in 1975 as a way to promote the progressive movement with printed materials, stickers, buttons, shirts, and flags.


Donnelly/Colt Progressive Resources Catalog. (2018). Retrieved 21 June 2021, from

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