Exhibit focuses on 1896 election

Students from YSU combed archives for political artifacts

Staff report


A new exhibit highlighting Niles-born President William McKinley’s 1896 campaign for the nation’s highest office will be unveiled at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium of the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial.

The exhibit, which features two cases, was researched, designed and assembled by Youngstown State University graduate students in the Museum Curation 2 class, under the direction of YSU Professor Marcelle Wilson.

The students spent four months gathering rarely seen political artifacts found in the archives.

The public is invited to view the exhibit and attend the opening reception.

The museum will be open for self-guided tours during the reception.

Refreshments also will be provided.

The students will be on hand to answer any questions regarding the new exhibit.

Over the course of their research, the students discovered some of the items relating to the campaigns were produced by local businesses.

Tile manufacturer American Encaustic Tiling Co. Ltd. of Zanesville produced portrait tiles for the 1895 Republican State Convention.

Two commemorative canes were produced by the Falcon Tin Plate and Sheet Co. in Niles and Winfield Manufacturing Co. of Warren.

Samantha Basile, curator of collections at the museum, said the exhibit showcases never before seen artifacts as well as previously displayed campaign memorabilia.

Some of the items are from the Bechtel Collection purchased in 2010.

In addition to the new exhibit, the museum has undergone a restructuring of previously displayed cases.

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