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    

Rare Original 1925 Red Grange Illinois Football Pin Pinback Button Nice!Rare 1940's Boston I'm A Red Sox Booster Baseball Pin Pinback Button Nice!Rare John F Kennedy Jfk 1960 Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political President Adlai Stevenson 1952 Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political President 1966 Batman Tin Pinback Complete Set? 50 Different Buttons Pins Badges Batmobile1800s-1900s - 12 Pinbacks, Medals, Badges - Bicycle, Political, AdvertisingRichard Nixon 1960 Press Night Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political Rare 1948 New York Yankees Knot Hole Gang Baseball Pin Pinback Button Nice!Vintage Rare 1966 Green Hornet Vari-vue Flicker Flasher Pinback Button ExcellentAdlai Stevenson Kefauver 1956 Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political Vintage 1960 John Kennedy Johnson Political Flicker Flasher Pinback Button1940's Superman Kellogg's Pep Cereal Pin Pinback Button Nice!1900's Celluloid Pinback Buttons - 2 - Indian Motocycle - Beautiful Vintage 1948 Harry Truman Barkley Political Campaign Jugate Pinback ButtonVintage 1941 Communist Party Usa 2nd Front Now Political Pinback ButtonGeorge Mcgovern Liberated Ladies Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political 1972Vintage Ec And Schultze Gun Powder Co Pin Pinback Button ~ Whitehead & Hoag1912 Wilson & Marshall President Campaign Button Political Pinback PinLot Vintage Enamel Pins Pinback Buttons Disney Mickey Mouse Et Dumbo Tweety Nr Richard Nixon Lodge 1960 Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political President 1950's Brooklyn Dodgers Ebbets Field Pinback W/ CharmsAlton B. Parker For President & Maple City Soap Celluloid PinbackVintage 1930 New York Assembly Communist Benjamin Gold Political Pinback ButtonRichard Nixon 1960 Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political November 6"Nice Lot Of Four United Farmworkers (ufw) Cause Pinback ButtonsRonald Reagan New Mexico 1980 Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political Richard Nixon Party Guest 1952 Ike Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political Lot Of 6 Vintage Mccarthy For President Pinbacks/buttonsT390. University Of Minnesota Rose Bowl Big 10 Champions Pinback BadgesWp Rr-western Pacific Railroad 30 Yr Service Pin-feather River-14 K Gold PinbackVintage 1936 Presidential Hopeful Frank Knox Political Campaign Pinback ButtonVintage 1940s New York American Labor Party Watson Congress Pinback Button AlpVintage Studebaker Wagons Carriages Harness Pin. Pinback Button Celluloid. 1912 Woodrow Wilson President Campaign Button Political Pinback PinVintage 1930s Harry Bridges Ilwu Labor Leader Political Protest Pinback ButtonWoodstock Music & Art Fair Original 1969 Pinback Button Ronald Reagan 1980 South Dakota Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political PresidentVintage Atari Button/pinback Display W/ 29 Misc. Buttons Pacman Asteroids Ect.Rare 1940's Cleveland Indians Pinback W/charmsVintage 1920 President Hopeful John Pershing Political Campaign Pinback ButtonOld Landon For President Jugate Political Pinback Button,Ronald Reagan Shot J.r. 1980 Campaign Button Pin Pinback Political President Vintage 1970s Jewish Defense League Jdl Never Political Campaign Pinback ButtonBring Peace To Vietnam, Support The National Liberation Front Pinback Button*very Rare John Kennedy Pinback "the New Frontier J.f.k. 1960" Still In Package*Four Great Boycott Grapes United Farmworkers Pinback Buttons1960 - 1968 ?? Jfk Or Rfk Kennedy Scarce Pinback "he'll Try Harder"Rare Baseball Ernie Banks Pinback ,original With Chicago CubsHuge Lot Of Over 200+ Pinbacks / Lapel / Hat Pins Estate Find5 Original Robert F. Kennedy Presidential Pinback ButtonsVintage Lot 110 Campaign Button Wallace Landon Hoover Coolidge Wilkie Pinback2 1/8" Rough Riders Not Roosevelt's Showgirl Fob Souvenir Cello Pinback CnbDar Daughters Of The American Revolution Sterling & Enamel Pin - PinbackVintage 1960 Virginia John Kennedy Johnson Kaul Campaign Coattail Pinback ButtonVintage 1896 William J Bryan & Sewall Political Campaign Jugate Pinback ButtonVintage 1900 1 1/4" Mckinley Roosevelt Political Campaign Jugate Pinback ButtonVintage 1930 New York Communist Party Us Olgin Congress Political Pinback ButtonLarge 4" Dia 1940s Franklin Roosevelt For President Campaign Pinback[47926] 1929 Pinback Button New York State Conservation Dept Hunting License1980's Kiss With Make Up Pinback Cello Button Paul Gene Ace Frehley Eric Carr