Illustration of elephant holding a waving flag in its trunk on a white background.
THE WHITEHEAD & HOAG CO.
BUTTONS, BADGES, NOVELTIES AND SIGNS
In June and July of 1952, the American Medical Association (AMA) convention, the Republican National Convention, and the Democratic National Convention took place in Chicago, in that order. That was not the only connection between the three events: several AMA members at the time were political figures or elected representatives, including presidential electors and delegates for both major parties.
Ethicon is a manufacturer of sutures and other medical supplies (and a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson). The company grew in the 1950s and 1960s, and Ethicon may have seen the AMA convention in June as an opportunity to attract attention from AMA members with political clout, especially with the two major party conventions coming up in July. The button pictured here has a twin, with the Democratic donkey endorsing the company.
American Medical Association (1952). House of Delegates Proceedings, Annual Session. AMA Archives. Retrieved from https://ama.nmtvault.com/jsp/viewer.jsp?doc_id=ama_arch%2FHOD00001%2F000...
(2002, November 6). Ethicon, Inc. – Yesterday and Today. WTOL 11. Retrieved from http://www.wtol.com/story/1001408/ethicon-inc-yesterday-and-today/
(2015). American Medical Association Politicians. PoliticalGraveyard.com. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/group/ama.html