The late Sen. Steve Amick, who represented Newark in the state legislature for 22 years, was an avid collector of political campaign buttons, amassing a collection of hundreds of buttons from local and national politicians.
Part of that collection is now on display at the Pencader Heritage Museum, which Amick helped start.
The buttons were donated by Amick’s wife, Louise, according to curator Linda Duffy. The museum has more than 300 buttons on display, along with Amick’s state legislator license plate and a plaque commemorating his role in establishing the museum.
Amick was a Republican, so most of the buttons are from GOP candidates, ranging from President Richard Nixon to Sen. Bill Roth to State Rep. Bill Oberle. But, in true Delaware fashion, a number of Democrats are also represented, including one button for a young senator from Wilmington who now lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“It’s nice because people can find something on there they remember regardless what age they are,” Duffy said. “Some made it big. Some went down in a ball of flames. They’re all on the board.”
Also on display are World War I artifacts from both of Amick’s grandfathers, 1st Lt. Arthur Amick and Pvt. Lowell Hollingshead.
The artifacts from Amick are just some of the new exhibits at Pencader, which is located in a state-owned building that is part of the historic Dayett Mill property on Del. 72, just south of Old Baltimore Pike.
Another notable exhibit features the history of the United States’ centennial exhibition in 1876. The event, which took place in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, was the first world’s fair in the United States. Nearly 10 million people attended over several months, and the exhibition helped introduce America as a new industrial world power, Duffy said.
Pencader’s exhibit includes three centennial banners that were purchased at a local estate sale and restored by Duffy.
Another new exhibit features uniforms worn by a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, a World War II program that trained American students to fill a shortage of nurses created when thousands of nurses went overseas.
Pencader Heritage Museum, located at 2029 Sunset Lake Road, is open every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. and on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.