Q: I found a funny pair of pins that look old. Each metal pin is in the shape of a man thumbing his nose at the other. One is wearing a hat with the word “Hancock,” and the other, a bearded man, has a hat that says “Garfield.” Can you explain what is going on?
A: You have a pair of political lapel pins made for the Winfield Hancock and James Garfield 1880 U.S. presidential campaign. The gold-colored Hancock pin could thumb his nose and the silver Garfield pin, often found blackened with tarnish today, could thumb his nose while a pointed tail appeared. Similar “nose-thumbers” were used in at least one other presidential election, the one between James Cox and Warren Harding in 1920.