The Fascinating History of Custom Button Pins


Since pin-back buttons were patented in 1896, people have used them as a means to express their opinions, rally support, and commemorate events. These tiny accessories have become wearable mementos that represent the cultural and personal histories of the past. In this section of the Busy Beaver blog, we delve into the captivating history of button pins through pictures and personal anecdotes. Most of the buttons featured in this article are courtesy of the Button Museum, which is housed within Busy Beaver’s office and proudly stands as the world’s only pin-back button museum. From historical political buttons to vintage Snoopy buttons, get ready to embark on a journey through time and learn more about the intriguing world of button history.

1. The Evolution of Political Buttons

One of the most prominent uses of custom button pins is in the realm of politics. Throughout history, political buttons have been powerful tools used by campaigners to spread their message and gain support. These buttons often feature catchy slogans, iconic images, and political figures. From the early campaign buttons of the 1900s to the iconic campaign pins of recent elections, the evolution of political buttons reflects the changing landscape of politics and the power of visual communication.

2. Pop Culture and Button Pins

Button pins have also played a significant role in popular culture. From music bands to movie franchises, button pins have become collectible items that fans proudly wear to show their allegiance. One such example is the vintage Snoopy button, featuring the lovable cartoon character that captured the hearts of many. These pop culture buttons not only serve as nostalgic reminders of our favorite shows, movies, and characters but also act as conversation starters and symbols of shared interests.

3. Personalized Statements and Memorable Events

Custom button pins have always provided individuals with a platform to express their personal beliefs, opinions, and identities. People have used button pins to showcase their support for social causes, share their sense of humor, or commemorate significant events in their lives. Whether it’s a button advocating for environmental conservation, a funny slogan that brings a smile to someone’s face, or a pin commemorating a milestone birthday, these personalized statements and mementos hold immense sentimental value and become cherished parts of people’s lives.

4. Button Pins as Historical Artifacts

Beyond their functional and decorative purposes, button pins have also become valuable historical artifacts. They offer a glimpse into the past, serving as tangible records of cultural movements, political campaigns, and social attitudes. The Button Museum’s collection of historical button pins is a treasure trove of stories that reflect the triumphs, challenges, and progress of different eras. Through the preservation and exhibition of these button pins, we can better understand the rich tapestry of our collective history and the impact of visual culture.

5. The Future of Button Pins

As we look towards the future, button pins continue to evolve and remain relevant in our society. With advancements in technology and design, custom button pins have become more versatile and visually striking. From glow-in-the-dark pins to interactive buttons that play sound or display moving images, the possibilities are endless. Button pins have also found their place in the digital world, with virtual pins and social media badges becoming popular ways to express oneself online.


In conclusion, custom button pins hold a special place in our cultural and personal histories. They have been used to express political views, celebrate pop culture, make personal statements, and preserve our collective memory. The Button Museum stands as a testament to the enduring charm and significance of button pins. So, the next time you wear a button pin, know that you are not only adding a stylish accessory to your outfit but also carrying a piece of history with you.

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