First-in-the-Nation Neil Tillotson Bobblehead
For more than a generation, Neil Tillotson (1898-2001) captured the minds of America by casting the first vote in the New Hampshire presidential primary every four years at the stroke of midnight. From 1960 to 2000, Tillotson had the privilege of being the first voter in the small town of Dixville Notch. The town's other voters followed in the midnight voting. The New Hampshire Historical Society’s Neil Tillotson bobblehead helps celebrate New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary, and the state's longtime political tradition that encourages active participation by all. Tillotson, a native Vermonter, settled in Dixville Notch in 1954 on the land homesteaded by his great-great-grandparents. An inventor and entrepreneur, his inventions and innovations spanned decades, from the world’s first novelty-shaped toy balloon, the Cat Balloon, to the N-DEX, the world’s first nitrile examination glove. He founded Tillotson Corporation, a parent company to the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, a failing hotel that he purchased and revitalized into a New Hampshire institution. TIllotson lived to be 102 years of age, and the image of his casting the first vote in the New Hampshire primary was an icon for more than a generation. The limited-edition bobblehead measures 7.75" high.