Many of the items in the exhibit are paper products—posters, counter cards, photographs, and ephemera. During Lincoln’s time high speed printing presses increased the production of books, papers, and other items. This to meet the demands of an increasingly educated middle class. Even Lincoln read Dime Novels, when he tired of Shakespeare, but they came to him, as well as printed materials to millions of Americans, by train. Webs of railroads crisscrossed the nation, linking America as it had never been joined before. Lincoln was the most successful corporate attorney in Illinois, specializing in railroads. The railroads that carried the nation’s commerce were the railroads that Lincoln’s army relied on during the war. Machines that like others, so fascinated the 16th President that he became a champion of the Monitor ironclad, and the Spencer repeating rifle.
The real memory and true accomplishments of Lincoln remain today because they represent the greatness of one individual in a time of great turmoil. No matter how commonplace or silly the artifacts associated with Abraham Lincoln are, or how they are viewed by today’s Americans, they were created, and exist, because Lincoln is embedded forever in the national memory.
Lincoln advertising and art, from the exhibit.comments