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Apin-back buttonorpinback button,pin button,button badge, or simplypin-backorbadge, is abuttonorbadgethat can be temporarily fastened to the surface of agarmentusing asafety pin, or apinformed fromwire, aclutchor othermechanism. This fastening mechanism is anchored to the back side of a button-shaped metal disk, either flat or concave, which leaves an area on the front of the button to carry an image or printed message. The word is commonly associated with acampaign buttonused during apolitical campaign. The first design for a pin-back button in the United States was patented in 1896, and contemporary buttons have many of the same design features.HistoryBadge Pin or Button, US patent (1896)Two assembled pin-back buttons (top) and disassembled (bottom) with two different wire pins
Buttons have been used around the world to allow people to personally promote/advertise their political affiliations.
In 1787Josiah Wedgwoodof the Wedgwood pottery dynasty ordered the production of theWedgwood anti-slavery medallionto promote the British anti-slavery movement to the House of Commons. This is believed to be the first use of a slogan on a product and a forerunner of today's political campaign button. The original was a stamp for wax but the image was later reproduced by Wedgewood as a porcelain cameo.
In the United States since the firstpresidential inaugurationin 1789, George Washington's supporters wore buttons imprinted with aslogan. These early buttons were sewn to the lapel of a coat or worn as apendanton a string. Some of the earliest campaign buttons to feature photographs were produced to promote thepolitical platformofAbraham Lincolnin 1860.
Benjamin S. Whitehead patented the first innovation to the design in 1893 by inserting a sheet of transparent film made ofcelluloidover a photograph mounted on abadgeto protect the image from scratches and abrasion.Whitehead had patents for various designs of ornamental badges andmedallionspreviously, patented as early as 1892.Another patent was issued to Whitehead & Hoag on 21 July 1896 for a "Badge Pin or Button" which used a metal pin anchored to the back of the button to fasten the badge.
My present invention has reference to improvements in badges for use as lapel pins or buttons, or other like uses, and has for its primary object to provide ... a novel means for connecting the ornamental shell or button to the bar or pin for securing the badge to the lapel of the coat.
Other improvements and modifications to the basic design were patented in the following years by other inventors.
Early pin-back buttons from 1898 were printed with a popularcartooncharacter,The Yellow Kid, and offered asprizeswith chewing gum or tobacco products to increase sales.
These buttons were produced with a concave opening on the back side (which provided space to insert advertising), or with a closed back, filled with metal insert and fastener. These are called "open back" and "closed back" buttons.
In 1945, theKellogg Company, the pioneer incereal box prizes, inserted prizes in the form of pin-back buttons into each box ofPep Cereal. Pep pins have included U.S. Army squadrons as well as characters from newspaper comics. There were 5 series of comic characters and 18 different buttons in each set, with a total of 90 in the collection.
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