Always Popular

Cast Iron President Theodore Roosevelt Bookends with Copper Wash (LEO Design)

Why are Teddy Roosevelt Bookends so difficult to find? While Lincoln bookends are somewhat commonplace, TR bookends are quite scarce—and, therefore, costly. I have a few ideas of why this might be.

First of all, factory-produced bookends are an early Twentieth Century phenomenon—and really reached their production zenith during the 1920's and 1930's.  Before the Twentieth Century, few people who could afford to assemble large collections of books (only the wealthy). Working people (who made up the bulk of the 19th Century US population) might own a small handful of books—a Bible, perhaps a cookbook and a few books of poetry—thus, mass-produced bookends were not really needed. Wealthy collectors had rooms, shelved libraries, to protect, organize and store their tomes. Roosevelt's presidency ended in 1909, right before "The Golden Age" of bookends, thus TR was "a bit recent" to be a popular (or nostalgic) bookend subject in the 1920's.

Secondly, Teddy Roosevelt, after leaving office, found himself unhappy with the overly-conservative performance of his hand-groomed protégé and successor (William Howard Taft).  He jumped-back into politics and attempted to win the 1912 Republican nomination. Failing in this attempt, he started a third party called the "Progressive" or "Bull Moose Party."  This effectively split the 1912 Republican party, allowing Democrat Woodrow Wilson to grab the White House. Perhaps—a decade later (when bookend orders were being written)—Teddy Roosevelt was not being hailed as a nostalgic Republican hero.

But Roosevelt is more popular than ever today—with both Republicans and Democrats.  He was a real ground-breaker as well as a one-of-a-kind, larger-than-life character. Today his bookends (when one can find them) are popular.  Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.


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