A Little History Behind Button Badges
Buttons...we live 'em and love 'em day in and day out. It's a passion that's grown year after year as we continue to provide better products and service to our loyal customer base and fans. However, this may come as a shock to the masses..."we did not invent the button badge!" Nor did our partner in crime, Wacky Buttons Inc. Perfecting it? Well now that's a whole separate debate. So as you read this maybe you've developed an increasing desire to design and make buttons yourself and have always wondered, "who, when, and why did someone start doing these things?" Here are those answers...
The Who: Benjamin S. Whitehead
The When: 1896 - Whitehead & Hoag Co. patent a design using a metal pin anchored to the back of the button to fasten the badge, thus resulting in the modern day button badge!
The Why: Quite simply...because they could. Whitehead & Hoag Co. had the desire, the resources, and the innovation to make a marketable and profitable button badge. They were already the country's largest business in the manufacture of advertising novelties, making over 5,000 different items. Early on it was all about advertising as buttons were used by chewing gum and tobacco companies to further promote their brands. Button badges were also used heavily during the 1896 Presidential Campaign which saw William McKinley defeat William Jennings Bryan.
Whitehead & Hoag Co. continued to be the leader in production of button badges through both World Wars until the business sold in 1959 to its main competitor, Bastian Bros., which ironically enough is located in Rochester, NY...the home of both UMake Buttons and Wacky Buttons!
The popularity of the button badge has stood the test of time giving us memorable designs from each decade. The anti-war and peace designs of the 60's and 70's along with some unforgettable political campaigns during that era. Some really cool buttons from popular British bands such as The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, Queen, and The Who. As we hit the new century you saw a real focus on a cleaner planet and healthier living so the classic "Recycle" button came to the forefront and is still one of the most requested button badges to order today along with the "Rainbow" one supporting Gay Pride/LGBT rights.
So there you have it. A little history lesson in button badges. You can certainly research more on your own and we hope you do. Keep designing, creating, making your own, and sharing them with others to spread your message! Until next time...stay pinned.