Illustration of boy in baseball hat and pink nightgown holding a baseball bat on a white background.
AMERICAN PEPSIN GUM CO BUTTONS MADE BY THE WHITEHEAD & HOAG CO.NEWARK, N.J. PATENT JULY 17, '94 APRIL 14, '96 JULY 21, 1896
PAT. JULY 21, 1896.
The Little Pinkies were a series of 20 pinback buttons made by Whitehead & Hoag Co. for American Pepsin Gum to give away in their packages of gum. The Little Pinkies are not very well documented. All sources say that they appeared in 1896. Some say that they were a very early comic strip. Others suggest the characters were inspired by the popularity of Palmer Cox’s Brownies.
Pepsin powder was used in many chewing gums in the 1890s as is was thought to cure indigestion, or dyspepsia as it was called then. In fact, Pepsi-Cola was marketed as a digestion aid around the time this button was made.
Little Pinkies Ball Player button. Keymancollectibles.com. (2020). Retrieved from http://keymancollectibles.com/pinsbuttons/pepsingumlittlepinkiespin.htm.
Little Pinkies Pepsin Gum Pinbacks. Marklansdown.com. (2020). Retrieved from http://www.marklansdown.com/pinbacks/pages/littlepinkiespepsingum.html.
Little Pinkies The Policeman | Busy Beaver Button Museum. Buttonmuseum.org. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.buttonmuseum.org/buttons/little-pinkies-policeman.