Souvenir gavel featuring the facsimile signature of Joseph W. Martin Jr., the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 80th and 83rd Congresses during the 1940s and '50s. Souvenir gavels bearing the name of a House Speaker were produced on a regular basis during the 20th century.
Joseph William Martin, Jr. (1884-1968) was a Massachusetts Republican and member of Congress for 42 years (1925-1967). He served as the Speaker of the House from 1947 to 1949 and 1953 to 1955 during two short Republican majorities, and 16 years as House minority leader before and after his stints as speaker. Martin is the subject of the biography A Compassionate Conservative: A Political Biography of Joseph W. Martin, Jr., Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives by James J. Keneally (Lexington Books, 2003).
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall wear.
“Joseph William Martin, Jr.” Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M000191 (10 March 2006).