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About the Museum

Hello! Thank you for visiting our on-line Button Museum!

Since pinback buttons were patented in 1896, people have found many ways to express their life events through buttons.  We created the Button Museum to show how people commemorated noteworthy times in their lives by creating and collecting these wearable mementos. The words, artwork, printing style, color, and size were the final result of a vision they wanted to communicate or be a part of.

You are welcome to visit Busy Beaver Button Co.'s factory to view the Button Museum in person.   We also happily accept button donations!

Please add your button images to the Fan Museum and also, please contact us if you find any missing information.  Our goal is to make this as complete and concise as possible, while piquing your curiosity about the times these buttons represent.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,
Joel and Christen Carter
(brother/sister button making/collecting duo)

The Button Museum
3407 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647

OPEN: Monday-Friday 10-4 or by appointment.


A big THANK YOU to Ted Hake. Who founded Hake's Americana, where you can find an amazing selection of buttons (and other stuff!) for your collection. You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who knows more about button history than Ted! He also started a site to sell some buttons, hundreds and hundreds for sale!

To connect with other button collectors, we belong to the APIC. We suggest you join, too!

Website made by Michael Kostal

The Button Museum relies on interns and volunteers, without them this wouldn’t be possible. If you’d like to volunteer, contact us at

Thank you to our current and past interns and volunteers:

Abby Tang
Adam Widera
Alexandra McGee
Allyson Leckie
Allyson Leckie
Amy Villablanca
Andi Altenbach
Andrea Schmitz
Angela Gates
Ashley Clay
Brendan Cole
Briana Blanchard
Candice Conner
Carly Faison
Carly Schanock
Cheyenne Flotree
Christina Cornejo
Christina Miskey
Crystal Schmidt
Dianne Bohach
Dominique Fuqua
Elizabeth Moore
Emily Minehart
Emily Muszynski
Emily Snyder
Emily Teachout
Emily Wells
Emma Weinberg
Eric Bryan
Eric Jankowski
Erin Pappas
Fallon Pfeiffer
Grace Lehner
Heather Brown
Heather Lanctot
Hillary Freund
Hope Hills
Isabel Wu
Jacob Spitz
Janelle Breedveld
Janette Burger
Jason Leyk
Jenifer Hoffman
Jenn Parent
Jessica Powell
Jessica Walker
Jill Wiercioch
John Goldsworthy
Joseph Magnelli
Joseph Wright
Kahlia Vaillancourt
Karlen Kane
Kathryn Eminhizer
Katie Schmitt
Kelly Donovan
Kerri Gonzalez
Kerstin Carson
Kevin Strickland
Kim Summers
Kirsten Lorenzen
Krystal Melendez
Kyle Wolfe
Lacey Banks
Lauren Brooks
Lauren Weidlich
Leni Matthews
Lucy Ross
Manee Olson
Matthew Heichelbech
Maxine Pavnica
Megan Dunn
Megan McCarthy (previous Archive Manager and Internship Coordinator)
Michelle Wu
Mike Joseph
Miranda Villesvik
Nels Clarke
Nicole Huff
Rachel Esser
Rachel Holt
Rachel Thompson
Raquel Matta
Raquel Mendelow
Rebecca Whelan
Regina Smith
Robert Sarwark
Rose Spagnoli
Ruth Slagle
Sally Conkright
Sarah Nagle
Sarah Padilla
Shalia Wynn
Stacy Joy
Tara Hoyt
Taryn Mason
Zaray Buenrostro
Zoe Nash