One document can trace the will of the people, the history of the country, and the work of the House of Representatives. House Records—defined as the official, permanent records of the House Committees and Officers—reflect how citizens and their government address and advocate for issues. Recently we launched a way to explore a selection of these records in the Record Search database.
It started simply enough, a hundred years ago. Americans bought cars.
Americans loved cars. And Americans loved politics. So, it seemed almost
inevitable that automobiles became rolling billboards for their owners’
favorite candidates. Representatives cheerfully provided different auto
accessories, which became a favorite method for taking the campaign on the road.
A Member of Congress represents and assists constituents. So when a Representative served a district known for one of the largest natural sponge markets in the world . . . well, that Member advocated for the absorbent product.
In the spring of 1921, Republican Walter Folger Brown of Ohio, the chairman of Congress’s Joint Committee on the Reorganization of the Administrative Branch of the Government, began overhauling the size and shape of the federal bureaucracy. On paper, he seemed like a natural choice to lead Congress’s efforts to overhaul the government: a discreet business leader with progressive credentials from the key state of Ohio. A natural choice, that is, except for one detail: Brown was not a Member of Congress.