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. Buttons tell a peoples' history like anything else!

The physical museum is located in Busy Beaver Button Co.'s office where custom buttons are made!

We also happily accept button donations!

We have a book! Published and designed by the amazing Princeton Architectural Press. You can buy Button Power: 125 Years of Saying It with Buttons directly from us. Button Power is also available for purchase from many other booksellers, including: Bookshop.org Amazon Barnes and Noble Target

Please contact us if you have something to add or 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.

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

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

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 tedhake.com, hundreds and hundreds for sale!

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

Website credits:
Design and Lupino Sans by Nick Sherman
Developed 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 buttonmuseuminternship@gmail.com.

Thank you to our current and past interns and volunteers:

Abby Tang, Adam Prestigiacomo, Adam Widera, Alexandra McGee, Alyssa Dovedot, Allyson Leckie, Amy Villablanca, Andi Altenbach, Andrea Barrera, Andrea Schmitz, Angela Gates, Anna De Leon, Ashley Clay, Ashley Servis, Austin Nord, Bekah Leidenfrost, Brenda Foster, Brendan Cole, Briana Blanchard, Candice Conner, Carly Faison, Carly Schanock, Caroline Hron Weigle, Casey Koss, Casey Seyb, Cassandra Gonzalez, Catherine Nelsen, Chaundria Campos, Chelsea Clark, Cheyenne Flotree, Christain Hartman, Christina Cornejo, Christina Miskey, Christopher Rini, Christy Karpinski (previous Archive Manager and Internship Coordinator), Corinna Fabre, Craig Klein (previous Archive Manager and Internship Coordinator), Crystal Schmidt, Danielle Oakes (Archive Manager and Internship Coordinator), Danielle Trujillo, Darling Castellon, Dianne Bohach, Dominique Fuqua, Dylan Byrne, Elizabeth Bass, Elizabeth Moore, Elle Koshiyama, Emily Minehart, Emily Muszynski, Emily Snyder, Emily Teachout, Emily Wells, Emma Weinberg, Eric Bryan, Eric Jankowski, Erin Pappas, Evangeline Avila, Fallon Pfeiffer, Faye Mazzia, Frances McAdam, Grace Lehner, Hayley Saust, Heather Brown, Heather Hooper-Joinville, Heather Lanctot, Hillary Freund, Hope Hills, Isabel Lara, Isabel Wu, Jacob Spitz, Jamie Wiser, Janelle Breedveld, Janette Burger, Jason Leyk, Jenifer Hoffman, Jenn Parent, Jennifer Lorene Ritenour, Jennifer Weston, Jessica Powell, Jessica Walker, Jill Wiercioch, John Goldsworthy, Joseph Magnelli, Joseph Wright, Joy Feagan, Kara Libby, Kahlia Vaillancourt, Karlen Kane, Karlayna Kern, Kathryn Eminhizer, Katie Schmitt, Kaylee Osowski, Kelly Donovan, Kelsey Karstin, Kerri Gonzalez, Kerstin Carson, Kevin Strickland, Kim Summers, Kirsten Lorenzen, Kristy Martin, Krystal Melendez, Kyle Wolfe, Lacey Banks, Lauren Brooks, Lauren Weidlich, Leni Matthews, Linta Kunathuparambil, Lucy Ross, Lyndsey Silveira, Manee Olson, Maria Burton-Conte, Marian Ekweogwu, Matthew Heichelbech, Maxine Pavnica, Megan Dunn, Megan McCarthy (previous Archive Manager and Internship Coordinator), Michelle Wu, Mike Joseph, Miranda Villesvik, Nada Abdelrahim, Natalie Koziar, Nels Clarke, Nicole Huff, Noelyn Gonzalez, Parker Sarra, Peggy Hanafin, Rachel Beaton, Rachel Esser, Rachel Holt, Rachel Thompson, Raquel Matta, Raquel Mendelow, Rebecca Whelan, Regina Smith, Rhonda Cloud, Ria Elias, Robert Sarwark, Rose Spagnoli, Rosemary Parker, Ruth Slagle, Ryan Tolnay, Sally Conkright, Samantha Hamilton, Samantha Wacker, Sarah Bolton, Sarah Ellis Clark, Sarah Nagle, Sarah Padilla, Shalia Wynn, Sharon Eliason, Staci Stanton, Stacy Joy, Tara Hoyt, Taryn Mason, Tim Hagemeister, Trevor Levasseuer, Xingyu Liu, Zaray Buenrostro, Zoe Nash, Zoë Spahlinger