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One Eye Mustache Smiley

One Eye Mustache Smiley Smileys Button Museum
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One Eye Mustache Smiley button back Smileys Button Museum
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Illustration of 'smiley face', but with handlebar mustache and only one eye.

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N.G. SLATER CORP., N.Y.C. 11 (union bug)

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The classic yellow smiley face is comprised of a yellow circle, two black dots for eyes, and a black arc ending in serifs for a mouth. It was designed in 1963 by commercial artist, Harvey Ross Ball. Ball was commissioned by The State Mutual Life Insurance Company to create a happy face to raise the morale of their employees. His version was created in 10 minutes. The design was printed onto more than 50 million buttons. Neither Ball nor the company copyrighted this smiley, so it was continually used by other businesses in their promotions.
The design and concept is quite simple and was definitely used before Ball’s 1963 version. However, his has become the most iconic. Variations have been used for advertising campaigns and in popular culture ever since.

This variation on the design features a handlebar mustache and one eye, which conveys the idea of a Western motif.

The N.G. Slater corporation makes apparel, bags, buttons, etc. for businesses and organizations. The family owned company began in 1936 by Nathaniel George Slater beginning with buttons. The company was popular in the 30s and 40s. In the 50s and 60s the company provided merchandise for the civil rights movement. In the 1972 the most popular button the company made was a smiley face with the slogan “Have a nice day!”


About Harvey Ball. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2020, from

About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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