ANNAPOLIS – When Peggy Irish’s husband told her to wander around the exhibition area of a seminar in New Orleans last year, neither expected her to start the process of patenting an ornament for the Maryland Federation of Republican Women.
But serendipity struck.
Peggy Irish, a fan of the brass ornaments sold by the White House Historical Association, met a man at the association’s exhibit who eventually helped create a prototype Maryland GOP ornament.
The Irishes already had a logo from a luncheon fundraiser ticket they designed several years ago, and ChemArt in New York produced a prototype for Peggy Irish at no charge.
Irish presented the design to the federation’s executive board last summer. The ornament is about two inches long and two inches high and made of brass. A small gold-colored elephant with a raised trunk is merged with a circular Maryland seal, with bright red, gold, black, and white colors.
Board members loved the design and agreed to sell the $15 ornaments as a fund-raiser for both the organization and its 43 local clubs. ChemArt manufactured the ornaments, and each local club makes about $4 per ornament, while the federation gets $5.
“They’re just a really nice item. They’ve been very popular,” said Marilyn Dankner, federation president, adding the organization agreed to buy 500 and has sold about 300.
Edmund M. Jaskiewicz, a federation member’s husband, offered to file a patent on the design in August, and it was granted to Irish in February.
The federation, which now owns the patent, is negotiating to allow other state organizations to adopt the design and use their own seals.
Danker fastens her ornament to her jacket lapel — the gold looks very nice on a navy jacket, Danker said — while Irish framed her ornament to hang in her home.
Some members hang them as window decorations or on Christmas trees, Irish said.
“We’ve had a lot of fun with it.”