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]

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    

Antique 1904 Theodore Teddy Roosevelt San Juan Political Pin Pinback Button1900 William Mckinley Presidential Campaign Rare Pinback ButtonVintage 1930's Alfred E. Newman Ani-new Deal Pinback Franklin D. D. RooseveltVintage Peters Target Ammunition Antique Celluoid Pin Pinback No 12 Ga HuntingVintage 1904 Roosevelt & Fairbanks Hamilton Club Of Chicago PinbackAntique South St Paul Minnesota Union Stock Yards Advertising Pin Pinback ButtonAntique 1901 Chicago, Ill Women's Suffrage Souvenir Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique 19o1 World's Fair Pan-american Exposition Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonOriginal Teddy Roosevelt Campaign Political Pinback Button With RibbonLarge Lot Of Original Campaign Pins, Pinback Buttons, Misc Buttons1960's Kennedy Humphrey Freeman Blatnik Coatail PinbackVintage 1960's Boycott Mississippi Black Civil Rights Cause Pinback Button1930's Celluloid Pinback - Knute Rockne - Notre DameVintage 1936 Landon-knox Presidential PinbackAntique 1901 World's Fair Pan-american Exposition Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique 1896 Great Chicago Fire 25th Anniversary Souvenir Pin Pinback ButtonAntique 4th Of July American Patriotic Souvenir Celluloid Pin Pinback Button1920 Harding Coolidge Election Pinback Button Ribbon 19th Amendment Suffrage Antique Tiffin Ohio Wagon Co Adv Pinback Button Nice Color Best Yet Farm WagonAntique 1901 World's Fair Pan-american Expo Drop In Celluloid Pin Pinback Button14k Gold Double Heart Dangle Earrings (no Pinbacks)1900's Kansas City Central Live Stock Market Stockyards Pinback 2 1/8 Inches!Very Rare Large 2" Theodore Roosevelt Pinback "buffalo League" No~reserveAntique Black Americana American Pepsin Gum Premium Celluloid Pinback ButtonOriginal Nixon Campaign Political Pinback (9- Inch) Buttons 1966 Original 2-1/4" Pinback Button~for Governor In '66 Reagan~vgc + Lapel Pin Barack Obama 2004 Us Senate Illinois Campaign Button Pinback Original Antique Spanish-american War "us Battleship Oregon" Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Spanish-american War "the Yanko Spanko War" Celluloid Pin Pinback Button1900's Dupont Smokless Shells Advertising Pinback Dogs & GunsWwii/ww2 Pratt & Whitney Aircraft War Savings Bond 10% Club Pinback Button-ex.!Antique Spanish-american War "us Battleship Texas" Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Spanish-american War "us Battleship Maine" Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Spanish-american War "remembered The Maine" Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonHawaii 1883 1/2 Dollar Pinback Made Into A Brooch1926 New York Hunting, Fishing & Trapping Pinback License & Matching PaperVintage I'm An Official Beatles Fan Souvenir Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Spanish-american War "remember The Maine" Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonVintage Teddy Roosevelt Pinback Button Political Pin 1904 Election Union ShieldAntique Spanish-american War "bound For Cuba" Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonVintage F.d. Roosevelt And Garner Presidential PinbackWilliam Jennings Bryan 1 1/4" Original Presidential Election Pinback ButtonAlton Parker & Davis Jugate 1904 Campaign Button Pinback-sepia Cameos Eagle FlagWilliam Jennings Bryan 1 1/4" Original Presidential Election Pinback ButtonAntique 19o1 Worlds Fair Pan-american Expo Industry Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique 1915 San Diego Panama-california Exposition Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique 1912 Bond Co Farmer's Institute Advertising Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Mickey Mouse Good Teeth Club Walt Disney Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Peru Plow & Implement Nebraska Advertising Celluloid Pin Pinback Button2 Vintage 1920s New York Governor Alfred E. Smith Political Pinback ButtonsAntique Spanish-american War "us Battleship Iowa" Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonInternational Harvester Co The Mccormick Ok Line Celluloid Pinback Antique Courier-journal Humane Club Advertising Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Fireman Firemen Fire Fighter Rescue Celluloid Pin Pinback Button #1Antique Kutztown, Pa Fire Co No. 1 Fireman Souvenir Celluloid Pin Pinback ButtonAntique 1898 Omaha Trans-mississippi Exposition Celluloid Pin Pinback Button1928 New York Hunting, Fishing & Trapping Pinback License & Matching PaperAirborne Troop Carrier Ww Ii Era Pinback Crest/diRare- 1904 St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Expo Pinback, Oct.19th 1904William Howard Taft - 2 Original 1908 Presidential Election Pinback Buttons