What is this?
“Old Ironsides” lithograph by Gordon Grant, 1927 Announcing Souvenirs of “Old Ironsides,” 1927 Pair of 1927 Souvenir bookends made from copper removed from USS Constitution
When is it from?
Why is it Important?
Congress authorized a major restoration for the ship in March 1925, but stipulated that the funds would be provided by “popular subscription.” A National Committee was established to coordinate this subscription. As part of the fundraising effort, the Committee appealed to schoolchildren from across the nation to donate their pennies, nickels, and dime – an effort later known as the “Pennies Campaign.” In 1926 Gordon Grant was commissioned to create a painting of ‘Old Ironsides’ at sea; it was subsequently reproduced as a lithograph and thousands were sold.
The 1927-1931 restoration of Constitution was the first time souvenirs made from the ship’s materials were sold to the public to raise funds for her restoration. At the same time, the effort reestablished “Old Ironsides” as an important historic icon in the hearts of many patriotic Americans.