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Emerson Hamilton Liscum was an American hero of the Boxer Rebellion -- the largely forgotten conflict that began in 1899 and pitted the world powers (Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan and the U.S.) against Chinese nationalists who wanted to halt foreign influence in China. Liscum was a career soldier -- he volunteered in the Civil War and served as a Corporal in the First Vermont Infantry, then joined the Regular Army and was brevetted Captain for gallantry in the 1865 Richmond campaign.

 

Here is an interesting piece of Civil War history. This is the story of an escaped slave named Nicholas Biddle (pictured on this 1 3/4 diameter pinback button from my collection).

A favorite movie button -- Josephine Baker in her 1927 movie debut "Siren of the Tropics." Pictured with Josephine is her manager/lover Count Pepito Abatino. He was no "Count" at all, but a Sicilian stonemason and con man. But he did push Josephine into movies, although she never made it big as a movie star in America. 

Alongside the button is a photo of Josephine and Pepito taken same day, same place, same drink -- at a theatre in Paris in 1927 -- which is neat. 

She is Maxine Elliott, born “Jessie Carolyn Dermot” in Rockland, Maine, in 1868. At the age of fifteen she enrolled as a student at the Notre Dame Academy in Roxbury Mass. In 1889 she adopted her stage name “Maxine Elliott” making her first appearance in 1889 in “The Middleman”. She later appeared in “The Merchant of Venice” on Broadway in 1903 where she became a star.

Here is a really neat oversized pocket mirror that is part of my collection.

When Booker T Washington came to Alabama, he saw how poor black families were living in poverty and ignorance, sleeping and eating is little cabins. He realized that the only way blacks would ever achieve economic independence, racial solidarity, and self-respect would be through self-improvement and agricultural advancement. So, in 1881 he helped to found the Tuskegee Normal School for ColoredTeachers. This school started as a ‘School Farm’ educating students about agriculture and farming.

After Lindbergh’s famous flight from New York to Paris in May 1927 in his Spirit of St. Louis airplane, he instantly became famous all over the world for this achievement. 

 

Here are a couple of sepia pinback buttons from my collection that I really adore. I found them about 20 years apart.....maybe more.

Ambark Ali was a Vaudeville actor that actively performed in New York and surrounding areas in the 1910 to 1920 time period. Information is sparse on Ali, but I found a number of advertisements in newspapers and entertainment magazines for him performing with other entertainers at various vaudeville houses (Liberty in NYC, National Winter Garden, Lyceum in Rochester NY, Smith Opera House in Geneva, NY, etc).

Chicago 2000 union/political button

4" pinback button.  From Int. convention held in Chicago July 2000.