Online Collection

Charm bracelet from the 1960 campaign featuring a PT-109 boat

Object Number: 2008.031.0001
Category: Artifacts
Creator: Frank Allen
Manufacturer: Jolle
Type of Object: Jewelry
Medium: Metal
Description
A charm bracelet designed by Frank Allen for the 1960 presidential campaign. A gold-colored circular link bracelet features a single blue and gold charm with a gold model of a Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 on it. The charm has an inscription that reads "Kennedy 60". On the back of the charm, there is a small inscription at the top that reads "Jolle".

PT-109 was the boat that Lieutenant Kennedy and his men were on when a Japanese destroyer fired upon them during World War II. Kennedy assisted members of his crew in the swim to safety after their boat was destroyed. The PT-109 boat became symbolic of Kennedy's war heroism and leadership. Both the story and the symbol of the boat were part of his political persona.

There were a number of different PT-109 tie clips produced at different times throughout Kennedy's candidacy and presidency. If the clip slogan reads "Kennedy 60" it was used during the presidential campaign. If the slogan only includes Kennedy's name, it was used after the election, often as a token of the president's appreciation.
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