Celluloid pinbacks, a type of button, were popular from the 1890s to the 1940s as a cheap way of conveying a political message or advertising anything from food and clothing to movies and tobacco. In 1896 the first patent was granted to Whitehead and Hoag for a button with a textile surface covered with a thin layer of transparent celluloid. Later on the textile was replaced with lithographed paper (cheaper), and ultimately metal without the celluloid.

Advertising pinbacks, sometimes featuring cartoon characters, were often given away as premiums with cigarettes or newspaper subscriptions, or handed out at stores. They were also given as fan club premiums, as part of the membership package. On the political side, pinbacks were given away at campaign rallies.

Some pinbacks are hard to find today because so many were simply worn and thrown away. Collectors also seek to assemble entire pinback series (for example comic character pinbacks) and finding every pinback in a large series can be quite difficult.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Comic Character Pinbacks

Comic Character Pinbacks

Mark Lansdown's excellent collection of over 800 pinbacks representing 200+ comic characters from 100+ strips. Beau… [read review or visit site]

Advertising Antiques

Advertising Antiques

This classy looking British site features hundreds of high resolution photos of antique porcelain pre-war (enamel) … [read review or visit site]

Ad Access

Ad Access

Duke University's library has pulled together an impressive collection of over 7,000 ads printed in U.S. and Canadi… [read review or visit site]

Plan 59

Plan 59

From the Nostlagia Factory in Virginia comes this celebration of 'mid-century automotive advertising illustrations'… [read review or visit site]

American Package Museum

American Package Museum

Ian House's gallery of early 20th Century American package designs. Browse the exhibits in slide show mode or view … [read review or visit site]

Found in Moms Basement

Found in Moms Basement

Paula Zargaj-Reynolds’ blog, an extensive collection of 20th century vintage advertising, is a visual feast. Scro… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Lot Of Political Campaign Advertising Pinback Button PinsChief Oshkosh - Beer - Pinback - Button - Breweriana - Old - VintageElfquest Character Pinback Full Set Buttons Promo Uncommon Signed By W&r Pini Vintage Royal Scarlet Advertising Celluloid Cast Iron Turtle Paperweight PinbackVintage 1900s Dead Shot Smokeless Powder Pin Pinback Button HuntingJames M Cox Presidential Campaign Pin PinbackElect John Kennedy Vintange Orange 2 1/4" Political Campaign Pinback Button Rare1904 Teddy Roosevelt Campaign Pinback; Republican1868 Grant & Colfax President Token Medal Campaign Political Pinback Pin Ms62 PlRare Original 1958 Baltimore Orioles / Baseball All Star Game Pin Pinback Button1930 Michigan Resident Deer License Pinback #54661 Menomena I Am The Fun Blame Monster Lp 1st Press Origami Spoon Mew Pinback1908 Prohibition Party Eugene W. Chafin For President Campaign Button Pinback Nr1948 Montreal Royals Celluloid Pinback - Dodgers Baseball - MorganWilliam H Taft Laurels & Shields Presidential Campaign Pin Pinback4 Vintage 1910s - 20s University Of Wisconsin Badgers Football Pinback Buttons1948 Montreal Royals Celluloid Pinback - Dodgers Baseball - BloodworthWilliam J Bryan A Clean Sweep Rooster Presidential Campaign Pin PinbackLot Rare & Vintage Theodore Roosevelt Political Campaign Pins Pinback Buttons 1948 Montreal Royals Celluloid Pinback - Dodgers Baseball - DapperTaystee Bread Premium 1934 Mandrake Magician Club Membership Card & Pinback 1948 Montreal Royals Celluloid Pinback - Dodgers Baseball - BehrmanFantastic Vintage Dupont Smokeless Powder Ad Pinback Pin Button Two Dogs 1900 Mckinley Theodore Roosevelt Van Sant Trigate Campaign Pinback ButtonBeatles Orig Very Rare 1964 Japanese Set Of Four Pinback Buttons! Original Wwii Cbi Patch Di/dui-unit Crest, Cbi-made, Pinback, Filigree Pattern1930's Effanbee Baby Tinyette With Original Romper? And Pinback Button (wow!)!Vintage C.1924 Coolidge Again Political Campaign Pinback Pin The Whitehead &...2-300 Pinback Buttons Mixed Books, Tv, Movies, Comics 1970s-80s Promos All Kinds1868 Seymour & Blair President Token Medal Campaign Political Pinback Ms61 BnOriginal Wwii Cbi Patch Di/dui-unit Crest, Chinese-made, Pinback1939 New York World's Fair Pin PinbackTheodore Roosevelt Presidential Campaign Red Frame Pinback PinHoover Portrait Celluloid Ribbon Presidential Campaign Pin PinbackAntique 1900s Temperance Yes Prohibition No Pinback Button George WashingtonBenjamin Harrison Stud Button Lapel Presidential Campaign Pin PinbackVintage Lot Authentic William Taft Political Campaign Pinback ButtonsLaflin & Rand Infallible Smokless Powder 1.25" Celluloid Pinback Advertising1964-65 New York World's Fair Pinback Vari-vue Type ImagesOriginal Late 1960's Baltimore Clippers Minor League Hockey Pin Pinback ButtonLarge 12/4/15 San Francisco Panama Pacific Exposition Pinback Button & RibbonBeatles Vintage 1964 Set Of Five 1" Pinback Buttons From Gumball Machines!Mckinley Roosevelt Jugate A Full Dinner Bucket Presidential Campaign Pin PinbackTwo Vintage Photo Campaign Buttons/pinbacks-who Is It?1899 Civil War Gar National Encampment Liberty Bell Bronze Pinback MedalWwi Welcome Home 27th Div Division Lot Pin Our Hero New York Ww1 Pinback1904 Alton B Parker Celluloid Pinback Opposed Theodore RooselveltS339. Vintage: Dc Comics Superman-tim Club Tin-litho Pinback Button (c. 1942) ~Vintage 7/8" Peters Shells And Cartridges Pinback, Early 1900's1955 Midwest Old Threshers Ot Reunion Pinback Button Pin Mt. Pleasant Iowa1966 Ontario Department Of Lands And Forest Deputy Conservation Officer PinbackVintage 1939 N.y. Worlds Fair Pinback Pin Button Cio The Foundation Of The WorldVintage 1900 President Mckinley – Roosevelt Political Jugate Pinback ButtonThree Awesome Mcreynolds And Hollis Socialist Party Pinback Buttons.Antique Rumford Baking Powder Advertising Pin Pinback(22) 1910's-1970's Ice Cream Soda Fountain Pinback Buttons And MoreVintage 1942 Pennsylvania Pinback Fishing License PaVintage Pinback Button~2 Louisiana State University Lsu L.s.u. Tigers Pins~1964 Official Beatles Fan Photo Illustrated 1 3/4" Pinback Button Nems1837-1897 Jubilee Queen Victoria Pinback Button In Box