It’s common to hear a lot of complaints about political advertising when we get closer to a big election.

It’s too mean. There’s too much of it.

But it’s been this way since 1828. Blame Andrew Jackson.

“This is a liquor bottle—and it was full of whiskey,” said Regis University’s archivist Elizabeth Cook as she held up an empty bottle. “Here you are, white male, ready to vote, and Jackson’s campaign sidles up to you and says, ‘I’d like to give you this.’”

The now-empty, green bottle is part of Regis’ Notarianni Political Collection exhibit, which has more than 3,000 items. The collection has everything from early pins with Lincoln on them, to bumper stickers and hats from the current political election.

“There’s ashtrays, there’s pocketknives, there’s toilet paper, there’s clocks, there’s watches, there’s canes, there’s bumper stickers,” Cook said. “These are household items that remind you who the candidate is.”

The toilet paper in the collection has the likenesses of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter printed on the rolls.

“This is the carter campaign that put Reagan on the toilet paper, and the Reagan campaign that put carter on the toilet paper,” Cook said.

Regis’ Dayton Memorial Library is home to the Notarianni Political Collection. To learn more about the collection, go to their website: