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    

3 Vintage Pinback Buttons Dead Shot Powder Umc Peters Shell Boxes Hunting Ammo Rare Franklin Roosevelt Fdr President Campaign Button Political Pinback PinRare Vintage 1939 Arkansas Non Resident Fishing License Pinback W/ Orig PaperEarly Ford V8 Ford Advertising Pinback Button No Reserve FlatheadEarly Ford V8 Ford Advertising Pinback Button No Reserve FlatheadRare 1927 Wisconsin Guide License Pinback Pin Hunting FishingVintage Votes For Women Suffrage Pinback Button & 2 Ribbons Michigan, DelegateVintage Peters Experts Cartridges Rimfire Advertising Red 7/8" Pulver PinbackRare 1952 President Eisenhower Nixon Inauguration Pinback Campaign Button RibbonRare Roosevelt Fdr President Campaign Button Political Pinback Pin 1 3/4"1900 Mckinley And Roosevelt President Campaign Button Political Pinback PinVintage Peters Referee Cutaway Shot Shell Advertising Bastain Pinback 7/8" Vintage Dead Shoot Pinback Mallard Powder Tin 1 1/4" Shell CompanyVintage Peters Flying Mallard Advertising Bastian Pinback 7/8" See More PinbacksVintage Winchester Arms Advertising Pinback Button2 Vintage Votes For Women Suffrage Pinback Buttons Ribbons Ca & Nevada Delegate1930's Quaker Oats Babe Ruth Baseball Club Member Pin Pinback ButtonFranklin Roosevelt Fdr President Campaign Button Political Pinback Pin 1 3/4"Original Wwii V Victory Safety Celluoid Pinback + V-j Day Pin Lot Of 2 BeautifulVintage Peters Semi Smokeless Rimfire Advertising Green 7/8" Pinback See More ! Nice Hillary 2016 Flasher Pinback ButtonTwo Color 1939 New York World's Fair Official Pinback KhFranklin Roosevelt Fdr President Campaign Button Political Pinback Pin 1 3/4"Vintage Dead Shot Mallard Smokelss Powder Advertising 7/8" Pinback See More ! Minnesota Twins 1960's 3 1/2" Stadium Pin Pinback Button Vintage BaseballVintage Christmas Pin Brooch Lot Enamel Rhinestones Animal Cat Monet Pinbacks Lot Of Old Political Campaign Advertising Pinback Button PinsOriginal Samhain Unholy Passion 1985 Button Pin Pinback Misfits Slayer Danzig6 Vintage Votes For Women Suffrage Campaign Pinback Buttons & Treasurer RibbonOriginal 1971-72 Baltimore Bullets Pinback/button/schedule Ribbon 3 1/2 InVintage Black Panther Civil Rights Movement Pinback Buttons 60's -70'sVintage 1956 Elvis Presley Don't Be Cruel Pin PinbackWashington Senators 1950's 3 1/2" Stadium Pin Pinback Button Vintage Baseball1936 Ford Advertising Pinback Button No Reserve FlatheadVintage Shoot Peters Shells Advertising 7/8" Pulver Pinback See More Pinbacks !Vintage Pinback Shoot Winchester Shotgun Shells & Shotguns Advertising 7/8"Lot Of Four I Love Ringo, George, John And Paul (beatles) Pinback ButtonsExtremely Rare & Authentic 1896 Mckinley & Roosevelt Election PinbackRoy Rogers Pinbacks, Pocketknife, Ring, Lucky Piece And Copper Tokens1932 Ford Advertising Pinback Button No Reserve FlatheadCollection 20 Governor Pinbacks Issued By Whitehead And Hoag In CigarettesLot Of 9 Batman Pinback Buttons! Vintage!Pax - Christian - Christ - Watchtower Society - Jehovah - Pinback Button - 1914Antique Celluloid Pinback Button, Gilson Gas Engine, Port Washington, WiChicago White Sox 1950's 3 1/2" Stadium Pin Pinback Button Vintage BaseballVintage 1960's Hippie Vietnam Era Beatles Pinback Rock Lot. 1933 Ford Advertising Pinback Button No Reserve Flathead1940 Ford Advertising Pinback Button No Reserve FlatheadVintage Peters Shells & Cartridges Advertising PinbackGene Autry Republic's Singing Western Star Pinback Button Pin W/ Backpaper RareMixed Hug Lot Of 250 Pinbacks Hat Lapel Pins Usa Olympic Sport Award Car William Taft Pinback Button W/ Eagle & Shield.... And Insert.1946 Texas And Pacific Railway Pinback 75th Anniversary1920 Harding And Coolidge President Campaign Button Political Pinback PinWorld War Ii U. S. Naval Air Station Pensacola Coke Coca Cola Pin Pinback ButtonOld Antique 1923 Hornell Ny Baseball Bastain Bros Stadium Pin PinbackLot33 Vintage Org Presidential Pinback Political Buttons Pat Nixon Harding Ike +Huge 1930's -1950's College Football Pinback Button Lot (bowls Games, Etc.) -61Interesting Lot Of Nine Jewish-related Gore Campaign Pinback ButtonsThe Ladies - They Mean Us (lp, 2006) Oop White Vinyl Ltd 200 Zach Hill, Pinback