Civil war era ballot box by
  • Title:Civil war era ballot box
  • Inv.#:SHA068
  • Size:H 8.25in x W 15.75in x D 5.5in
    ( H 21cm x W 40cm x D 14cm )
  • Price:$1,400
  • Civil War-era oak cannon-shaped voting or ballot box raised on four ball feet with nine white and fourteen black counters. The term ballot is derived from the Italian ballotta, meaning "little ball." This bal... READ MORE
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Civil war era ballot box
SHA068
H 8.25in x W 15.75in x D 5.5in
Civil War-era oak cannon-shaped voting or ballot box raised on four ball feet with nine white and fourteen black counters. The term ballot is derived from the Italian ballotta, meaning "little ball." This ballot box was not used in a U.S. election but more in a masonic lodge, fraternity, or similar gentleman's club. When someone wanted to get into an organization the current members would each put a marble into the ballot box through the hole in the cannon. The marble rolled into a box and a bell sounded. The bell was one method of preventing voter fraud. The white marble signified a "yes" for a candidate and a black was "no." Receiving a "no" vote gives us the term "blackballed." The ballot box was presented to Franklin Baily Speakman, who was a Colonel in the 133rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry of the Union Army and saw action in the battles of Fredericksburg (1862) and Chancellorsville (1863). He led Company A of Pennsylvania volunteer army based in Cambria County, PA. The gift came from a carpenter, William Stack, who served as a corporal in the Pennsylvania volunteer army (Company G based in Perry County, PA). Both sides hand-painted in black and gilt lettering: "To F.B. Speakman, Col. 133d P.V." on one side and "Wm. Slack, Co. A 133d P.V." on the other., ornamented with stud bosses throughout, early paper label reading in part, "From Wm. Slack, Practical Stair Builder, Walnut Work a Specialty" adhered underside. 8 1/4"H x 1 3/4"L x 5 1/2"D.
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