Williamsport- The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society will host a Society Program on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm in its Community Room. Steve Mihaly will present “Marketing the Presidency: A Visual Tour of 125 Years of Presidential Artifacts.” The lecture is free and open to the public.
Mr. Mihaly, of Gibsonia, “began collecting political americana at the age of 10, and have now been collecting for over 50 years, with a collection that now encompasses over 20,000 items. However, this journey started out very humbly and simply. As a young kid, my parents loved to go to antique shops, garage sales, and flea markets.....travels that I did not particularly enjoy. However, I did enjoy American History and one day my dad bought a handful of old political buttons at one of these garage sales and gave them to me. Thus, it gave me something to do and seek out as I was dragged around to these events. From this, I’ve met hundreds of interesting people, including 4 US Presidents. I’ve been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines across the country [including] the Washington Post [and] LA Times.” Mr. Mihaly is the recently retired Vice President of the HJ Heinz Company in Pittsburgh.
Regarding the presentation, Mihaly remarks, “I developed the “Marketing The Presidency” presentation 3 years ago in response to a friend’s request that I speak at the Joan Crawford Distinguished Speakers Series in Maryland. Most folks, when they hear the word ”marketing” think of it as a relatively modern day term, but in terms of presidential candidates, from George Washington to today, candidates have been marketing themselves, their ideas, or marketing against their opponent, from the beginning. In particular, the presentation focuses on the array of “odd” artifacts that candidates have produced to get the candidate’s name and ideas in front of the electorate. Thus, some of the items in the presentation include a James Monroe snuff box promoting the Monroe Doctrine, a Teddy Roosevelt cast iron door stop, an Eisenhower bar of soap with Ike’s image on it and the words “Clean Up With Ike” and a Richard Nixon shower head where the water comes squirting out of his mouth, just to name a few. Thus, the presentation tends to focus on the whimsical, while at the same time, explaining to the audience why the candidate would actually produce such an oddity and what is the historical significance behind it.”
The presentation coincides with the last Sunday the museum will be open for touring until May 2020. The lecture series is generously sponsored by the Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts.
Located at 858 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, the Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society provides a history of the region with information about Native American culture, frontier exploration, the development of the Pennsylvania canal, immigration during the 19th century, and the logging and lumbering era of the nineteenth century. As well, the Taber Museum houses the world-class Larue Shempp Model Train Collection. The museum is open for touring Tuesdays through Fridays, 9:30am until 4:00pm; Saturdays, 11:00am until 4:00pm and Sundays (May through October), 1:00pm until 4:00pm. There is ample parking behind the museum and along the street. For further information, please contact the museum at 570.326.3326.