This speaker's lectern dating to the early 1900s is believed to have been used for patriotic and community events.
Before the advent of radio or newsreels or television, presidents often relied on their oratorical ability to convey information and stimulate popular support. Of course, the number of people able to experience the personality and performance of the president was limited.
Theodore Roosevelt delivering an address from the rear platform of
a train, about 1907
Party presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan addressing loggers,
Warren G. Harding making an informal outdoor speech, around 1921.